Monday, May 6, 2013

Rosewater Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream, and road testing some Queen Soft Sugar Pearls

      Have you bought your mum a Mother's Day present yet? Or will you be baking her something? How about a  bunch of rose cupcakes for the special person in your life?
       There's something about cupcakes that just make my eyes light up. Dainty little cakes, the perfect size for a little treat. Usually adorned with pretty swirls of frosting and sometimes adorned with pretty little decorations. Unfortunately a lot of cupcakes on offer at shops and cafes are pretty mediocre. Dry, crumbling cake, mass produced, generic taste of premix. Sometimes the frosting is just overly too sweet and not worth eating at all. To be honest, I can't quite remember the last time I've paid for a cupcake. I've always been very wary to try them fearing great disappointment. They're not the cheapest little treats and I expect to get what I pay for. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to venture out into cup cake world again but for now, I'm happy to bake my own little treats and share them with the people I love.

      Magnolia Bakery is one name that is known all over the world for their cupcakes, they did start the cupcake craze after all and were made famous by Sex and The City. I think they are one of the benchmarks for the best cupcakes. I myself have never personally had a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery but a recipe for their buttery vanilla cupcakes is sufficient enough for me until I eventually step foot in New York (or anywhere near one of their many stores now). I really like making cupcakes with their recipe (with some minor adaptions) so I hope when I finally do visit one of their stores that I am not disappointed.
       I've made rosewater cupcakes with lemon royal icing before but this time I've decided to use the Magnolia recipe as a base for my rosewater cupcakes. And instead of cupcakes I wanted to make baby cakes, a lot of baby cakes. Just adjusted the baking time as the cakes are smaller.

Recipe - Rosewater Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
Makes approximately 24 cupcakes (Or in my case, about 84 baby cakes)

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line your cupcake tins with baking cups.
  2. Sift together the flours and set aside.
  3. Add the rosewater to the milk.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and a pale creamy colour.
  5. Beat the eggs in, one at a time.
  6. Add one third of the flours and beat until combined.
  7. Add one third of the milk and beat until combined.
  8. Repeat 6 and 7 until all the flour and milk is mixed through.
  9. Spoon or pipe the batter into the baking cups.
  10. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden. (For baby cakes reduce baking time to 15 - 20 minutes, until golden).
*The trick to getting nice flat tops on your cupcakes instead of tall domes is to cook at a lower temperature, low and slow. The higher the temperature, the higher your cakes will rise which makes it tricky to frost and decorate. Remember that they will also take less time to bake if you put the temperature up*

Butter cream

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (add more if needed)
  • Food colouring of your choice
  1. Sift the icing sugar and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy.
  3. Add about half of the icing sugar and beat until it is combined. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until all the sugar has combined. Keep beating until the butter is very pale in colour and is very soft and fluffy.
  4. Add the milk and beat until combined. Add the lemon juice and beat until combined.
  5. Add your choice of food colouring and beat until there are no streaks left.

      I was recently sent some Queen Soft Sugar Pearls from Beyond the Square Communications to try out and thought that they would be a nice touch for the top of my dainty little rose baby cakes. I normally use cashous (sugar pearls) anyway but find that they are not very pleasant to eat even though they can just add that finishing touch to a cake. I was actually very happy to find out that these ones made by Queen are not hard at all which means that they are not bad for your teeth (and children!). When it says 'soft sugar pearls' they are not actually soft as such but they give way when you bite into them. Not only do these sugar pearls look pretty, they're safe (for your teeth) to eat too. I haven't quite got the famous Magnolia butter cream swirl mastered yet so was happy to pipe pretty little roses for the top of my baby cakes  You just need a star piping tip and a lot of practice to get perfect roses. And I still need lots of practice.

    The Queen Soft Sugar Pearls come in white, rainbow and silver. They should be available at all Woolworths stores now.

      Happy Mother's Day Mumma! Thank you for all the delicious food that you are always serving up to us kids and thank you for instilling the love of food and cooking in me. Have you made any plans to spoil your mum/special motherly figure in your life yet?


thesuzchef said...

Oh they look so pretty! Was the rose taste / smell prominent?
Soft sugar pearls is a great idea, I hate how hard the cachous are.
Re magnolia: I was disappointed when I tasted them!! They look fab but for some reason didn't hit the spot for me.

milkteaxx said...

very nice! im still deciding whether i should make cookies or cupcakes for mothers day! hrrm decisions decisions!

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Suz,
Not over powering at all! It was just enough that you could notice it was there but not too much that it tasted soapy.
Shame about your Magnolia experience! Maybe it's because they've become a bit of a 'chain store' now :(

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

I love a rose scented cupcake.. though some places I've found it was too much! A dash really does go a long way. Cute idea for mothers day!

And yes, i can't stand to buy a cupcake in store anymore. I do prefer home baked.

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Sooooo many cupcakes! These were great - and I loved your perfect icing swirls too!

Sara - Belly Rumbles said...

Beautiful icing work, and stunning little cupcakes.

Adrian (Food Rehab) said... are the Baking Queen. For realz. You have icing > perfected.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

How gorgeous arr your cupcakes? I bet your mum loved them (as did everyone else :)).