Sunday, October 14, 2012

14 Oct 12 (Sun) - Pistachio Cupcakes with Two Tone Buttercream Frosting

Last week I bought a packet of dried rose buds, a packet of pistachios and a set of three icing nozzles. I was quite excited about it because I thought I can experiment on making pistachio rosewater cupcakes with two tone buttercream frosting. So looked at my basic cupcake recipe and started modifying. Decided to make rose-infused milk so that I can use it for the cupcakes and use the balance for steam milk custard. Hence, the night before I prepared the milk and left it in the fridge overnight.

Ingredients for Rose-infused Milk (140ml):
160ml milk
                                                           10g dried rose buds, rinsed

1.  Combine milk and dried rose buds in a saucepan
2.  Bring to a gentle boil then off the heat and leave to cool
3.  Pour the milk and rose buds into a container with cover
4.  Leave it in the fridge overnight to infuse
5.  Take out from fridge and strain the milk

I was so looking forward to the experiment today that I woke up extra early this morning. Took out the food processor and blitzed 20g of shelled pistachios using the pulse setting till rough then set aside a small portion for topping. Strained the rose-infused milk and set aside 15ml for the cake batter while leaving the rest for my steam milk custard.

                     The Dried Rose Buds

 The Purple Pistachios

Followed the usual steps but this time I baked the cake for 15 minutes and then left them in the HCP for another 3 minutes. Turned out the bottom of the cakes were not as black as my few previous batches. Was very happy with the results and decided to continue with the two tone frosting. I chanced upon this frosting technique on the website called Instructables while searching for ideas to recycle old CDs. Ok, no connections between the two of them. I got tired of the search so went on to browse the cupcakes section and that was when I saw this frosting technique.

Pistachio Cupcakes Before Frosting

Ingredients for Pistachio Cupcakes (Makes 7):
50g self-rising flour
50g butter - soften
50g castor sugar
                                                         20g shelled pistachios - coarsely ground
                                                         15ml rose-infused milk
                                                         1 egg

1.  Line 7 foil muffin tins with cupcake cases
2.  Sift the flour, mix in the ground pistachios* and set aside
3.  Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk till off white color
4.  Add the egg and milk then mix well
5.  Fold in the flour mixture in 3 batches
6.  Arrange the cake batter into the cupcake cases
7.  Arrange the tins into the Happycall Pan**
8.  Cover and lock to bake for 15 minutes over low heat, shifting the pan left and right every 2-3 minutes to ensure even baking
9.  Off the heat and leave the cakes inside the pan for another 3 minutes
10. Open the cover and do the toothpick test
11.  If the toothpick comes out clean, transfer the cakes to a wire rack and allow to cool

* Set aside a small amount enough for topping
** Happycall Pan can only bake 6 cupcakes at a time 

Followed the frosting steps closely and also using blue since I only have blue food coloring but I used my own buttercream recipe and the results were very good. Ok, maybe not as good because of my poor frosting technique that render some parts of the cupcakes not covered and some gaps in between the icing. Still it was a good attempt. Then went on to sprinkled some ground pistachios on the icing before taking photos.

After Frosting

Frosting with Ground Pistachios

Ingredients for Two Tone Buttercream Frosting (For 7 Cupcakes):
30g butter - soften
50g icing sugar - sifted
                                                      1/2 tsp rosewater
                                                      1 drop of blue food coloring

1.  Whisk the butter, sugar and rosewater till smooth and creamy
2.  Divide the buttercream into two portions
3.  Mix one portion with a drop of blue food coloring
4.  Prepare 2 pieces of 15cm x 10cm cling wrap
5.  Spread the first color onto one of the cling wrap in a long stripe
6.  Roll the cling wrap to make a thin sausage of icing
7.  Repeat step 5 and step 6 with the second color
8.  Cut off one end of each sausage
9.  Prepare a piping bag with a star-tip nozzle
10.  Put the icing tubes into it and arrange them so that both icing colors fit into the piping tip
11.  Squeeze the air out of the piping bag and test out the icing by piping a small line
12.  Both colors should be visible and if they are not, rearrange the icing sausages and try again
13.  Pipe a two colored simple swirl onto a cupcake by starting at the outer edge of the cupcake and squeeze out the icing while slowly twisting your wrist clockwise, coming into the centre to finish off
14.  Sprinkled a bit of ground pistachios onto the frosting
~~ Adapted from Instructable

Tasted one of them and could not really taste the rose flavour because it was overpowered by the butter and the buttercream. Fortunately, I could still bite the pistachios in the cake.

Went on to make the steam rose-flavoured milk custard and I could smell the rose flavour. I had expected the milk custard to have a darker tint of red or pink but it turned out to be a very, very faint tint of pink. Since I still have blitzed extra ground pistachios on top of those needed for the cupcakes, I sprinkled some on top of the milk custard and took a couple of photos before putting it into the fridge to chill.

Steam Rose-infused Milk Custard

After dinner, I poured the rest of the ground pistachio onto the milk custard to eat. While eating, it reminded me of how similar it is to the Middle-Eastern milk pudding known as Malabi in Israel or Muhallibieh in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Perhaps the main difference is that I used egg white and they use either rice flour or cornstarch.

---------------- Edited on 15 Oct 2012 ----------------

Brought the rest of the cupcakes to office and as usual, I could count on my food buddy, CC, to give me honest comments. She said that the taste of the buttercream frosting overpowered the original taste of the cupcake. Although could still vaguely taste the pistachios, it lacked the crunch. Would have been good if the pistachios were not ground till so fine.

She then went on to give me idea on my next experiment. She said I can try to modify the buttercream frosting to something like the cream used in the moo moo cake. Then use that cream as the filling for the hokkaido cake. Sounds like a good idea. Time to brainstorm!

Recipe submitted to Munch Ministry

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