Sunday, 17 February 2013

Recipe: Ispahan Cupcakes, Pierre Herme

I remember back in 2009, I was wandering around the streets of Paris (around Galeries Lafayette) with a box of macarons in one hand and a post-it note in the other. It was drizzling and I was really trying my best to get to my destination as fast as my legs could carry me. I had no idea where I was heading to, just a teeny post-it with a close to legible map by the friendly salesman from Galeries Lafayette.

Long story short, I finally found the store after wandering around trying to make sense of the map. The entire time I was walking and searching, the Pierre Hermé Ispahan macaron was my fuel. It didn't matter that it was raining, I could no longer wait. I took out the box, picked one. I selected a few flavours but of course, naturally, I gravitated towards the cute little pink one. Stashed the rest in my bag and I wandered around, taking small bites of my macaron.

Maybe I was starving or maybe I was just exhausted from all the walking but until today, I can still remember the taste as if it just happened yesterday. Cliche, I know.

It was strange.....but lovely. The perfect combination of rose, lychee & raspberries. Gosh, talking about this makes me really miss Paris. 

I should probably stop writing now and just hand over the recipe to you. Hehe.

This recipe is pretty simple. The only thing is I topped it with rose buds I bought from the spice market in Istanbul. You can top it with raspberries if you like (:

Recipe adapted with some changes made from : Tartelette

For the cupcakes: 
(Makes 18-24 cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup rose water
2 tsp rose essence
24 whole lychees (you can either chop them or put them whole)
Wilton Rosa Gel Coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. 
Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Add the coloring to the milk+rose water
Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk+rose water. 
Do not overbeat. 

Carefully spoon half the batter into the liners, place one lychee in the center and top with the remaining batter or you can chop them into bite sized bits and fold it in the batter. Leave a two inch space to the top as the cupcake will rise. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For the light raspberry mascarpone frosting:

125 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
4 tbsp. icing sugar
250 g mascarpone
2-3 tsp. rose water

For the topping puree the raspberries together with the icing sugar. 
Put through a sieve to remove the seeds. 
Add the mascarpone and rose water to the raspberries and mix together with a handheld blender until smooth. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
Put the frosting into a pastry bag and pipe it on top of the cupcakes. 
Decorate each cupcake with a rose petal.

Much love friends,
Nadya Abd

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