Rose and Pistachio Cupcakes

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!

 

2013-05-17 19.25.21

 

 

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Pretty Pastel Mini Doughnuts

Firstly, I must apologise profusely for my absence from the blog-sphere; I don’t know where the last few weeks have gone! Work has been super-busy, and the weather has picked up a bit in the last week or so, so rather than hiding myself in the kitchen and creating weird-and-wonderful concoctions, I’ve been getting the littlest member of the family, our adorable jackaranian pup, out for lots of lovely walks and enjoying the spring sunshine. So, many apologies for the lack of yummy goodies; however, I feel my latest offering might, just slightly, make up for my recent culinary laziness.

Doughnuts. And not just your boring, run-of-the-mill doughnuts. Mini, pastel-icing-topped doughnuts. They are the cutest doughnuts I have ever clapped eyes on, and I’m delighted to share them with you. Also, good news for the diet-conscious. They are BAKED doughnuts, not fried, so feel free to eat twelve of them and not worry about your waistline…
Pretty Pastel Mini Doughnuts

(adapted from “Peggy Porschen: Boutique Baking”)

You will need a mini doughnut tray, or, if you’re feeling impatient and don’t want to wait and bake twenty at a time, two. I got this one.

  • Oil spray such as Frylight
  • 110g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 5g vanilla sugar
  • 25g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 45g whole milk
  • 40g buttermilk
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 15g butter, melted
  • 500g fondant icing
  • 2-3 tbsp lukewarm water
  • assorted food colourings (paste if possible)

1. Preheat the oven to 160⁰C. Spray your doughnut mould(s) with the oil spray; this makes it nice and easy to pop them out when they’re baked.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then stir in the sugars. In a measuring jug, combine the egg, milk, buttermilk, vanilla extract and melted butter.

3. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing until combined.

4. Put your batter into the moulds (you can use a piping bag if you like, but I used a teaspoon and found it worked well enough). Fill each one about halfway; if you put too much in, you’ll lose the lovely hole in the middle as they rise in the oven.

5. Bake for 10-12mins, until nicely golden on top and springy to the touch. Leave to cool, then pop out of the moulds.

6. For the fondant icing, sift your icing sugar into a bowl and add water slowly, stirring constantly until it becomes liquid and shiny. You want a pourable, but not too runny, consistency. Separate the fondant into four bowls (reserve a few tablespoons to drizzle on the top), and add a different food colouring to each one until you have the shade you desire.

7. Dip each doughnut into the fondant until about halfway, then set aside, dipped side up, to allow the fondant to set. Once the coloured fondant has firmed up a bit, put the reserved white icing into a piping bag and drizzle over the top to make a nice pattern. Leave to set fully, then munch away to your heart’s content.

 

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