Dani Morantez, winner of this years Decadent Cupcake Competition, joins us to share her lavender cupcake recipe.
Lavender Cupcakes with Honey Frosting
Basic cupcake adapted from cooks.com http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,196,138166-225200,00.html Cream cheese frosting adapted from foodnetwork.com http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/index.html
Makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients For the cupcakes: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon red and 1 teaspoon blue food coloring* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender buds 2/3 cup cold milk
For the frosting: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 4 cups powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 tablespoons honey, plus a little extra for drizzle
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Chop the dried lavender buds into fine, small pieces. Stir into the flour mixture.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the milk.
Scoop batter evenly into lined muffin tins. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low, until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract and honey.
Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip. To create the flower, begin in the center of the cupcake's surface, and slowly swirl in wider circles. (It might be helpful to practice on a piece of parchment paper first, then you can just add the frosting back to the bowl.) You can also simply spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cupcakes with a knife.
Lightly drizzle a little honey on top of the frosting. Enjoy!
*Note: If you prefer a lighter color, just begin with 1/4 teaspoon of the red and blue and continue adding drops of each until you like the color. You can also use purple food coloring if you have it.
The Topping is from http://candy.about.com/od/hardcandyrecipes/r/bubblesugar.htm
· 3/4 cup granulated sugar
· 1/2 cup water
· 1.5 Tbsp corn syrup
· 2 Tbsp clear alcohol
1. Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then insert a candy thermometer and cook the candy to 315 degrees.
2. While the candy is cooking, prepare the tray for the bubble sugar. Take a piece of parchment and crumple it between your hands, then smooth it out and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Keep some of the wrinkles, as a little bit of texture is necessary for the final product.
3. Shortly before the sugar has finished cooking, pour the alcohol or alcohol-based flavoring on the parchment, and rub it between your hands to spread the alcohol over the entire surface of the sheet.
4.Once the sugar reaches the proper temperature, remove it from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. If you want to color your bubble sugar, add a drop or two of food coloring at this point. You can stir just a few strokes, to make swirled bubble sugar, or stir until it is fully incorporated.
5. Tilt the baking sheet at a slight angle and carefully begin pouring the sugar syrup on the top of the sheet, so it runs down the parchment paper. The alcohol will make the sugar bubble up.
6. Once the sugar has been poured, allow it to cool, undisturbed, until fully set. Carefully peel the paper from the back of the bubble sugar, and break it into small pieces to use as decoration. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for several days. Bubble sugar is best made and kept in a low-humidity environment.
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