gastronomy: une tranche de vie ~ sweet flowers for spring

Happy Spring and Happy Norouz!

To celebrate the first day of spring I have decided to create a few flower cupcakes. I made a dozen super simple vanilla cupcakes and whipped up a batch of Swiss meringue buttercream (my favorite go-to frosting). I divided up the frosting and flavored a third with rose water (to make roses), a third with vanilla bean paste (to make hydrangeas) and the rest with homemade Meyer lemon curd (to make chrysanthemums).

rosehydrangea

chrysanthemum


SUPER SIMPLE VANILLA CUPCAKESspring cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake cups with liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and butter. Add the egg, yogurt, milk and vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.

Scoop the batter into the liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely while making the buttercream.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
this yields a good amount for a substantial swirl of frosting
if you like a lot of frosting this recipe is easily doubled

1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
150 grams unsalted butter, cubed and softened
flavoring of your choice

Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 160°F. Place the bowl into the mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat for about 8 minutes. The outside of the bowl should feel neutral, not hot. Begin adding pieces of butter, little by little, until it is all incorporated. * Whisk in any flavorings you like until well combined then frost the cupcakes. 

I used a 1M piping tip for the rose and hydrangea and a no. 80 piping tip for the chrysanthemum.

* If the frosting looks curdled just keep beating until it comes together. If it looks too soft, pop the whole thing in the refrigerator for a couple minutes then continue to beat.

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