Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ispahan Cupcakes (Lychee-Raspberry-Rose)

Ispahan is a strain of pink rose named after the Iranian city of Isfahan. This flower was made famous in the patisseries' world by Pierre Herme, with his renowned Ispahan macaron. This floral-themed treat has two other ingredients: raspberry and lychee.

I have come across a number of recipes that puts these flavors in the settings of cupcakes. Even though I am a big fan of cupcakes, I often find the typical butter cream a little too heavy for my liking. In a number of occasions I substituted butter cream with a topping based on mascapone. Mixed with a fruit puree, it also stands very well, and can be piped in pretty swirls.

The cupcakes are not overly sweet, and the topping has a refreshing note due to the fresh raspberry puree. These are a real elegant treat for a fancy tea time.

By the way, I will be going to Hong Kong for holidays in a few days, so I will be signing off for the next couple weeks. This will be my first time there, and I definitely look forward to sampling local food, though I don't guarantee it will all be cakes and desserts. So until next time, I wish you are enjoying reading this, and making your own little creations in the mean time.

Ispahan Cupcakes (Lychee-Raspberry-Rose)

- makes about 12 cupcakes -

100 g butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
75 g sugar
80 g ground almonds
80 g flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 can of lychee (about 250 g)

125 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
4 tbsp. powdered sugar
250 g mascarpone
2-3 tsp. rose water
organic rose petals to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Melt the butter and let cool for a bit. With a handheld mixer whisk together the eggs and the sugar for about 5 minutes until frothy. In another bowl mix together the almonds, flour, baking powder and salt. Add this flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix together until just combined. Then mix in the melted butter. Cut the lychees into small pieces and fold into the dough.

Scoop the dough into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then take them out of the pan brush with some of the lychee juice. Let cool completely before adding the topping. 

For the topping puree the raspberries together with the powdered 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 with a star tip and pipe it on top of the cupcakes. Decorate each cupcake with a rose petal.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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