Sunday, September 21, 2008
A little bite of sweetness
When my youngest sister got married earlier this year, she had a Middle Eastern/Moroccan theme. With the wedding ceremony and reception being held at a city bar, it was easy to customise the venue and decorations to suit this theme. Amidst the coloured lanterns and rose-petal cocktails, Bec and John decided to forgo the traditional wedding cake and instead have tasting plates for dessert featuring Turkish delight, Persian fairy floss and rosewater mini cupcakes. And this was the source of Melbourne Larder's first baking commission!
When Bec asked me if I would make the mini cupcakes for her, I instantly agreed without thinking it through. After all, I bake all the time for friends and family and this was no different. But then I felt some performance pressure - after all, these would be on display as a finale to the wedding feast and would feature in photographs. I like to present food nicely but I've never really taken a huge interest in food presentation and I find that I get the best results when I don't really try. Every time I've taken extra care for a special occasion, I've felt that the finished product has fallen short of my expectations.
Still, mini cupcakes aren't difficult to make and Bec wanted a fairly simple presentation. We decided to make a butter cream icing, tint it pale pink, and pipe it onto the top. The test batch turned out beautifully but we decided the pink icing was a shade too dark and made it lighter for the final product.
As I only have one mini cupcake tray (it makes 12), the day before the wedding was spent making a triple batch of mixture and cooking 100 cupcakes. Once made and iced, we then sourced every container we could find in order to transport the cakes to the venue, where they were set out on dainty tiered cake trays and looked absolutely wonderful (if I do say so myself!) Despite stiff competition from the Turkish delight and Persian fairy floss, the cakes were a great success and quickly disappeared.
I've since made another large batch of these cupcakes, this time for the high tea we put on for my middle sister's hen's day. The beauty of these cupcakes is that they're easy to make, they have a lovely soft texture because of the sour cream and they look cute. People also tend to go back for seconds because they're so small. Although the cupcakes are perfect for a special occasion, they also make a nice sweet morning or afternoon tea treat.
MINI ROSEWATER CUPCAKES
125g caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
125g sour cream
2 teaspoons rosewater
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a mini cupcake tray with paper cases.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and creamy and then add rosewater. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well between each. Stir in the sifted flour and the sour cream in alternate batches. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden and cooked through when pierced with a skewer.
To make icing, beat 125g butter with an electric mixer until as white as possible. Sift 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and add slowly to make a thick icing. Add 1-2 teaspoons rosewater and then add a few drops of pink food colouring until you reach desired tint. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe in a circular motion on top of each cake.