Mother's day is just around the corner, and it can be hard to find just the right gift. The most common thing to get is a bouquet of flowers - roses, carnations - but I really don't like the idea of flowers wilting in a vase on the dining table.
So why not an edible bouquet of flowers?
The idea is simple: cupcake base with buttercream frosting piped into a rose. But what kind of cupcake and what kind of buttercream?
Part of the charm of the rose is its glorious smell, and not to mention the flavour. So that's the butter cream done. And I think Earl Grey cupcakes will go fabulously with it. So...
Earl Grey Chiffon Cupcakes with Rose Buttercream Frosting
[For the Cupcakes]
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes about 30 cupcakes
7 large eggs, separated.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold Earl Grey Tea (Make it a strong one!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 cups sifted cake flour (I used plain)
Cupcake cases, preferably high sided so the chiffon can rise
Preheat your oven to 160C (150C fan forced)
Whip your egg whites, cream of tartar and salt to stiff peaks.
In another bowl, whisk together your egg yolks and sugar till pale. Whisk in your vegetable oil - creating your emulsion - and then slowly add in your cold tea. Mix in your vanilla extract, then fold in your sifted flour and baking powder.
Next - and this is important because you want to retain as much air as possible - add in just a third of your whipped egg whites to the batter to loosen it. Then gently fold in the rest of the egg white mixture, and fill the cupcake cups to 2/3 full.
Bake on a tray till risen and brown. Do not open the oven door for the first 20 minutes, then do the skewer test to see if it's done. Opening the oven door will cause it to sink and you to have a dense chiffon. Don't worry if it's not as airy as you want it though - it still makes a delicious, soft cake!
[For the frosting]
Adapted from My Cupcake Addiction
5 cups Icing Sugar
250g Unsalted Butter
2 tsp Vanilla extract
3 tbsp rose water
Cream softened butter till light and fluffy. It should take on a lighter colour and a slightly pearlescent finish. Aerate that butter!
With the mixer running - or you could do this by hand - incorporate the icing sugar little by little. If you add it all at once, you'll be coughing up icing sugar because it's poofed up you've breathed it all in. Once it's completely incorporated and dissolved, mix in the rosewater and vanilla.
Add a couple of drops of red/pink food colouring, and you're ready to go.
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, you can just pipe the buttercream frosting on top. Yes, it goes against my cupcake to frosting ratio per bite because buttercream can be a bit heavy, but it's a special occasion. You could always fill the cupcakes because the chiffon will have a bit of give, but it's a challenge enough to try and pipe the roses on. (Apparently a Wilton 2D tip is all you need, but it's out of stock everywhere!!!!)
As a final touch, I think pearls go very well with roses, and I've been very lucky to have conveniently received Queen Soft Sugar Pearls from Beyond the Square.
The white ones are just perfect for this, and it's an elegant solution to filling up any gaps on the side of the roses because my piping skills are terrible. I considered using cachous, but they are hard and like jawbreakers, while these taste heaps better.
So go on, bake a few cupcakes and throw a party for Mum!