As you may recall me mentioning a while back, I used to run a very itty bitty baking business. It happened out of nowhere and ended as quickly as it started. I’d never hoped to be a baker, but when asked if my products could be purchased, I thought “Why not? Can’t be that hard.” How naive I can be sometimes. It was a lot of work, albeit rewarding. I took on the task for just over a year, and during that year I kneaded my way through hundreds of scones, iced many a cupcake, filled jars upon jars of bacon jam, and even managed to work my way through my first three tiered wedding cake. It was an undertaking I will never regret and one I think back on fondly. But ultimately, my place is here, with you. Typing my way through recipes on a clean (not clean) keyboard and not with a sticky pastry bag in my hand.
I only made the decision to stop NoshFood a few months ago so I have still being working my way back to baking. I’ve found it’s much more enjoyable when you’re not panicking that a customer won’t like the way something they’re paying for turned out. I never really felt comfortable giving away boxes of goodies to be judged. That being said, I still take on the occasional baking project for friends and family.
I was asked to do the cupcakes for my best friends’ brother’s wedding coming up in May. Luckily, it’s a fairly small wedding at 80 attendees (not nearly as terrifying as a three-tier cake for 150). Thankfully, the couple is incredibly laid back and didn’t ask much more of me than to know what I was going to make, and what the cupcakes would look like. Of course, I happily obliged.
With the wedding just around the corner, I wanted to make sure the one cupcake I hadn’t made before would be as delicious as I was promising. The groom, as well as many of the guests, is Lebanese and I wanted to do one with some traditional flavours. Few things are more traditional in the sweet-sense than rosewater and pistachios.
I based this cupcake off a few different recipes and was quite happy with the way they turned out. The cake itself was moist and light, with a subtle but recognizable rose-flavour. The icing was sweet and rosy with a slight saltiness from the pistachios. For someone who isn’t the biggest rosewater fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them. It didn’t hurt that they were perfectly adorable to look at, either.
Rosewater Pistachio Cupcakes
adapted from Bake.Create.Love
Rosewater can be found at most Middle Eastern Markets.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch fine grain salt
3 tbsp ground pistachios
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp rosewater (1 if you like very subtle, 2 if you like things rosier)
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp milk
5 drops red food colouring
2 drops vanilla extract
1 tsp rosewater
1 tbsp ground pistachios
Preheat oven to 325. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pistachios. Add the butter and beat on medium until it becomes sandy in texture.
Whisk the milk, egg, vanilla and rosewater. Add it to dry ingredients in three shots, mixing on medium between each addition. Once all the wet ingredients are in, mix on medium-high speed for 15 seconds.
Spoon into liners until 2/3s full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just barely golden brown. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the centre of cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they are cooked. If any wet batter comes out, bake for a few more minutes.
Remove from muffin-tin and let cool on a wire rack.
Beat sugar and butter together over medium-high speed until blended and smooth. Add the milk, food colouring, pistachios and vanilla. Beat again until blended scraping the bottom of the bowl mid-way through. If icing is too thin, add more sugar. If too thick, add more milk a teaspoon at a time. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.