a sprig of lavender
Cupcakes. They’ve never really been my thing. In fact, I can only recall ever making them once or twice. Despite this, I definitely struggle to keep my fingers off a fresh batch! My sister’s famous peanut butter ones are a real treat, and my girlfriends have made some pretty awesome ones for various baby showers and what not. (Oh golly I definitely get excited for a certain homegroup-friend’s cupcake creations – Pina colada! Chocolate and Baileys! Perhaps I just particularly like liqueur cupcakes…) Cupcakes are just so light and fluffy, so perfectly-bite-size (well, if you‘re into big bites…) and so creepily attractive. Hence my wariness.. They seem to jump into my mouth without my noticing.
I was given this cupcake book who-knows-when, and who-knows-by-whom (seriously, was it you?) and I’ve grabbed it out ready to create on numerous occasions… and every time I lose all inspiration as soon as I open the book. Strange huh? Unsure if it is because these all-purpose-flour babycakes seem somewhat bland in comparison to the crazy flours and fruit compotes I’ve been working with, or perhaps that I’m afraid of succumbing to the external beauty of them. All dozen of them…
With an upcoming trip to the hospice opportunity shop, I decided to add the book to the give-away pile. To be honest, this book has been added to and taken from the opshop pile numerous times now. I keep pursuading myself I will use it! But another year has passed and it has done little more than make my cookbook shelf look fuller. Before passing it on though, I thought I’d give it at least one go. So here it is. Lavender Cupcakes from cupcakes by Susannah Blake. I think they turned out pretty awesome – well, they make for great photos, surprisingly enough I’m yet to taste one!
Note: If you feel you would get more use out of this book than myself, give me a yell and I’ll send it your way!
115g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I tried out my brand new Heilala vanilla bean paste, given to me today by a dear friend)
¼ tsp dried lavender flowers
2 large eggs
115g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake cases.
Place the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour and lavender flowers into a food processor (or use an electric handheld mixer, it works just as well) and pulse for 10-15 seconds. Pour in the milk and pulse again till combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the cases filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 17 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Decorate with lilac icing and a sprig of lavender.
Beat together 150g icing sugar with 1 egg white. Add lilac food colour (drop of red, drop of blue). Collect 12 sprigs fresh lavender
from the neighbours garden to garnish.
Note: The quote in the top picture is a current favourite of J’s and mine. By the funniest fashion commentator in New York. We read it in this delightful coffee-table book given to me by my dearest friend. The guy who wrote the book, The Selby, has a very cute blog here.