What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and all things nice
Just like these cupcakes...
It's been a little while since the first instalment of Cupcakes for Charity, and it was that time again in my office today. For today's sale I made Cardamom and Rosewater scented cupcakes. The proceeds of today's sale went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Australia (MS Australia). MS is a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system. It affects thousands of Australians, yet its cure remains elusive. In short - a worthy cause.
These delicate cupcakes were scented with two of my favourite flavourings - cardamom and rosewater. For me, the heavenly scents of these ingredients are luxurious, and reminiscent of beautiful sweets from South Asian and the Middle East. These ingredients have been used for centuries, and not just in cooking. During the days of the Mughal empire, palaces were filled with such aromas. Rosewater flowed in fountains and was used to cool sleeping chambers - now that's decadence!
These cupcakes were made using a classic vanilla cupcake recipe with a quarter teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom added along with the vanilla extract. If you're trying this recipe, don't be tempted to buy ground cardamom - it is a waste of money. Buy green cardamom pods, pop them open and grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle just before you start baking. The result is well and truly worth the little extra effort :)
To top the cupcakes I made a Rosewater Glacé Icing and topped them with little rosebuds and silver cachous. You can get dried rosebuds safe for cooking purposes at tea stores like T2.
320g icing sugar
1 tsp butter (or vegetable oil)
approx 2 tbsp boiling water
2 to 3 tsp rosewater
red food colouring
Plus - silver cachous and 12 dried rosebud
1. Sift icing sugar into a heatproof bowl; stir in butter (or oil) and enough hot water to form a thick paste.
2. Place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until spreadable.
3. Add the food colouring a drop at a time, as well as 2 teaspoons of the rosewater. Add a further teaspoon if you want a stronger flavour, but bear in mind it should be delicate (we're not making potpourri here).
4. Spoon carefully over cooled cupcakes, then top with rosebuds and cachous. The icing will set firm to touch.
Happy baking, readers! Till next time...