Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes

So Sunday rolled around again and I realised I hadn't decided on what type of cakes I wanted to make for Tuesday.  I wasn't doing a big shop this week so I had to make sure I picked something that didn't require anything special in it.  It had to be in my cupboard or be something I could get from the local shop (which ended up being cocoa powder because I had run out).

I actually got the idea from my biscuit book, which has a recipe for Turkish Delight biscuits.  It made use of marshmallow and rose sugar and so I thought maybe I could make a cake based on Turkish Delight.  I did have rose extract in the cupboard after all.  But what flavour of cake to do?  I was going to use the rose in the topping, and possibly for a filling, but what to accompany it with?  Then I came to the logical conclusion of chocolate cake!  You get a sweet called Fry's Turkish Delight, which is rose Turkish Delight surrounded by chocolate.  So chocolate must be a good accompaniment.  I decided to check by seeing if there were recipes that used rose and chocolate together and turns out there's lots.  I ended up using one for the chocolate cake part of these cupcakes, though theirs had rose in the cake too.  I chose to leave it for just the decorative part.  I also liked the recipe for being egg free, though my choice of filling means the whole thing is not completely egg free any more.  Oh well.  I can save it to use again.

So I had the cake recipe and I knew rose would flavour whatever I topped it with.  Now, the biscuit recipe used marshmallow.  Therefore I thought I would use marshmallow fluff, and just swap out the vanilla in the recipe I use for rose.  But then I decided I want to fill the cakes, so as to be more reminiscent of the sweet.  So rose marshmallow fluff would fill it.  Should I also top it with it?  There was a fair bit of uhmming and ahhing before I decided that, no, I would make a rose buttercream to top instead.  And since I got a large, closed star nozzle at Christmas, I would pipe roses on top!  Add pink cases and voilĂ !  It was a very pretty result indeed.

It tasted good as well.  I will admit, when I first tried the rose buttercream it was a bit odd.  My brain couldn't comprehend that it tasted like the smell of roses.  Strange I know but the same thing happened to the fiancĂ©.  But the more of it I tried, the more I liked it.  So apparently it's one of those flavours that grows on you.  Grows quickly though.  It also went well with the chocolate.  I'm not a fan of chocolate cake, but even I thought it was lovely accompanied by the rose.

Recipe - makes 12

Cakes - adapted from the Food Network
  • 175ml/6oz skimmed milk
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 140g/5oz self-raising flour
  • 20g/0.7oz cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cornflour
  • 35ml/1.25fl.oz sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tbsp double cream
  • 120g/4oz sugar
Rose Marshmallow Fluff - adapted from Bake me I'm yours...Sweet Bitesize Bakes
  • 1 large egg white
  • 125g/4.5oz caster sugar
  • 25g/1oz golden syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Rose extract
  • Pink food colouring   
Rose Buttercream:
  • 115g/4oz butter 
  • 225g/8oz icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Rose extract
  • Pink food colouring
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases (smaller than muffin cases).
  2. Put the milk and apple cider vinegar in a jug, mix and let sit for about 15 minutes until it starts to curdle.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cornflour together into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk the vinegar milk into the oil and cream in a large bowl for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three stages, mixing them in gently and only until they're just incorporated with no large lumps.
  6. Divide the mixture amongst the cases, filling them about halfway.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and springy, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Leave on a wire rack to cool.
  9. Make the marshmallow fluff by putting a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  10. Place everything for the marshmallow fluff except the rose extract and food colouring in the bowl.
  11. Whilst it is heating, stir with an electric whisk for several minutes (about 10) until you get shiny peaks.
  12. Remove from the heat and whisk for another two minutes to thicken it up.  
  13. Add the food colouring and whisk in too.
  14. Mix in a few of drops of rose extract at a time until you get the intensity of flavour you want.
  15. Allow to cool.
  16. Make the buttercream by blending all the ingredients except the extract together until smooth.
  17. As with the marshmallow fluff, add a few drops of rose extract at a time until you get a flavour you are happy with.
  1. Put the marshmallow fluff into a piping bag fitted with a large, round nozzle.  Put the buttercream in one fitted with a large, closed star nozzle.
  2. Use a knife to cut a large core out of the centre of the cake.  Do not throw away.
  3. Fill the hole with marshmallow fluff then push the core back into place.  It doesn't matter if it spills over or looks messy, you're going to hide it with the buttercream.
  4. Position the nozzle of the buttercream bag perpendicular to the cake, starting in the centre.  Slowly pipe a swirl that moves outwards from the centre, tilting the nozzle so it faces the starting point, and slightly increasing the pressure as you get further out to make bigger 'petals'.  You should get a rose.
  5. Dust with icing sugar.

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