Friday, 19 October 2012

Pistachio and Rose Cupcakes

Pistachio cupcakes with rose scented Swiss Meringue butter cream.

More birthdays! This time - mine! I've wanted to make some rose and pistachio cakes for a while, and seeing as I was making a Moroccan inspired dinner I thought these would be fitting for dessert. As luck would have it, a friend made me a cake as well. Happy cake day to me indeed!

I chose to make a Swiss meringue icing as I find it to be a little sweeter than the French butter cream I usually make. I thought this would go nicely with the salty-sweet flavour of the nuts and provide a good balance.

140g softened butter
140g sugar
140g plain flour 
1 tsp baking powder
100g pistachios, shelled 
2 eggs
70ml milk

4 egg whites
120g sugar
230g butter, cubed, at room temp
3tsp rose water

-preheat the oven to gas mark 3 and line a bun/muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
-beat the butter using electric beaters to soften. Place the nuts in to a jug/blender and whizz up. Add a few spoons of sugar and whizz again to combine. 
-Add the rest of the sugar to the butter and whisk till fluffy and light. Then add in the nutty sugar and mix. Add the eggs and beat until mixed in. Sieve the flour and the baking powder over the top and beat until just mixed in. Add the milk so that the batter is a little less stiff.
Cooling Cakes

- spoon the batter in to the cases and bake for 25 minutes. Check that a spoon comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
like this

-to make the icing, put the egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl and set over a small pan of simmering water. Basically you want to dissolve the sugar and lightly cook the egg whites without them scrambling. Whisk very lightly over the heat using a balloon whisk. If you do this by hand then you can get a better sense of when the sugar had dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and whisk using an electric whisk until meringue has magically appeared. This takes about 10 minutes. Keep going until the bowl is cool and you have nice firm, glossy peaks.
-then start to add the butter slowly whilst still beating. Once its all in there it should be fairly firm and looking like butter icing. Add the rose water a tsp at a time, tasting as you go. The idea is to just get a nice scent - lest you should end up with edible pot pourri. 

-spoon in to a piping bag and pipe on to the cooled cakes. Voila!


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