I love the flavour of rose. I first tasted it when visiting my aunts and uncles in Fermanagh several years ago; there was an old style sweet shop in Enniskillen town centre called Mrs. O’Malley’s, which sold hand-made chocolates, including rose creams. I remember the first time I tried one; the perfume-y sweetness of it was so different from anything I’d tasted before, and I fell in love with it. To this day, rose creams are one of my favourite confections; unfortunately, Mrs O’Malley’s is no longer in business, so I have to find my own ways of satisfying my rosy cravings!
I was lunching in Avoca this week with a friend, and while perusing the fabulous food and ingredients in their shop, I spotted a bottle of rose water. I pounced, bought it without second thought, then decided that pistachio and rose cupcakes would be a perfect addition to an afternoon tea I was preparing for two days later. And what a delight they are! They’re sweet and floral and delicious; you should definitely give them a go!
Rose and Pistachio Cupcakes
(adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days)
(makes 12-16 cupcakes)
For the sponge
- 80g room temperature butter
- 280g caster sugar
- 240g plain flour
- 1tbsp baking powder
- 1/4tsp salt
- 1tbsp rosewater
- 240ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 100g pistachios, toasted and chopped
For the frosting
- 500g icing sugar
- 160g room temperature butter
- 2tbsp rosewater
- 50ml milk
- 50g pistachios, toasted and chopped
- pink food colouring (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 190⁰C. Line a cupcake tray with paper cases.
2. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, whisk together the butter, sugar, flour, salt and baking powder, until you have a sandy mixture.
3. In a jug, combine the rosewater, milk and eggs and gently whisk together with a fork. Pour three quarters of this wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix on slow speed to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining milk mix.. Increase the mixer speed and beat until you have a smooth batter. Using a spatula, fold in the chopped pistachios.
4. Scoop the batter into the paper cases – fill two-thirds full. Bake for 18-25 minutes (depending on your oven – mine needed 25), until cooked through and golden on top. Allow to cool.
5. For the frosting, beat together the butter and icing sugar until well-combined. Mix the rosewater with the milk, then slowly add to the butter and sugar. At this point, also add your food colouring, if using. Increase the mixer speed to high and whisk until the frosting is light and fluffy.
6. Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes, then sprinkle over the chopped pistachios. Make a cup of tea and enjoy with your delicious cupcakes!