It’s been a while. I used to bake for my cell group every single time (a privilege indeed) before the kids came along. I enjoy baking because I find it therapeutic and when I see smiles on folks’ faces, it gives me great delight.
But for a while now, I have not baked…regularly. I know that if I am frustrated, my food will not turn out well and I don’t want to be affected by it. My standmixer has been gathering dust for a good few weeks and calls out to be used. And since I had a ladies’ night gathering yesterday, I thought I should just start baking…something.
It so happened that as I did my grocery via open taste this week, edible flowers were available. Excited much! I have wanted to work with flowers all the while but do not know where I can purchase them. So when I stumbled upon them, I knew I had to purchase!
So, with them on hand, I thought of the cakes I could bake in my current capacity and an all-time favourite came to mind. Just simple chocolate cupcakes that are easy to make. Yea, I cannot afford to bake complicated stuff nowadays. In fact, I baked these cupcakes as I carried the sleeping Dan in the carrier. So anything more complicated and I would get frustrated.
To top the cake sponge, I used Italian Meringue Buttercream, a recipe which I have tweaked to reduce the amount of sugar and butter, resulting in a lighter version. I think I could still cut down on the sugar but I would need time to experiment with it. For the flavour, I added about 1 tbsp of Yuzu concentrate and found that it pairs well with chocolate!
Using the 1M tip, I piped a rose swirl and ended each rose with the edible flowers. Simple, just like that.
Try it and let me know how you think?
Chocolate cupcakes ( yields about 16 cupcakes)
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2oog caster sugar
200g plain flour, sifted
40g Cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
240ml buttermilk (I add 1tbsp of vinegar to 240ml of milk and let it stand for 5 minutes)
2 large eggs ( I used 60g)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line the cupcake tin with cases
2. In a mixer bowl, place the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed until all are fully mixed and the texture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. In a bowl, pour the buttermilk and add in the eggs. Then whisk the two together until properly mixed.
4. Pour 3/4 of the milk-egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
5. Raise the speed to medium and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and thickens. Scrap down the sides of the mixer bowl regularly to ensure proper mixing.
6. Pour the remaining 1/4 milk-egg mixture into the batter and continue to beat on medium, until all the ingredients are fully mixed and the batter is smooth.
7. Spoon the batter into the cases until 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes, until the batter is risen and spring back when touched.
8. Leave the cupcakes to cool a little before removing them from the tin.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
150g fine sugar
4 egg whites
220g unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch bits
1 tbsp Yuzu concentrate
Pinch of cream of tartar
1. Pour the sugar into the water in a saucepan and let boil to 120C. Do not stir the sugar when boiling. Go on to step 2.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until it reaches the foamy stage.
3. When the temperature of the sugar syrup shows 115C, whisk the egg whites on high until stiff peak. When the sugar syrup reaches 12oC, turn down the speed of the mixer to speed 1 and then pour the syrup into the meringue (beaten egg whites by the side). Do it carefully in a steady stream. Once all the syrup is in, turn the mixer on high and whisk the egg whites until the sides of the mixer bowl no longer feels hot. This will take quite some time.
4. Once the meringue has cooled, turn the speed down to medium and add in the pieces of unsalted butter, one at a time. It will look like it has curdled but fear not, keep whisking and in the end, the buttercream will come together.
5. Lastly, add in the Yuzu concentrate and whisk it one last time so that it is mixed well in the buttercream.