I have never really liked the smell of lavender flowers. But an infatuation soon started after I read Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Rather metaphorically of course, since I'm still not too keen on the scent. But the thought of living amongst lavender fields are just too dreamy to resist.
So when I flipped over my current cupcake bible (500 Cupcakes & Muffins by Fergal Connolly) and found a recipe for Lavender & Honey Cupcakes, I thought it would be nice to use the box of dried lavenders, which has been sitting in my fridge forever, as part of my 'Alice in Wonderland' cupcake series. Evan was very excited about it too.
The original recipe uses basic vanilla cupcake, with lavender-honey cream cheese icing. But since I wanted to put the lavenders in the spotlight, I tweaked the recipe and added a few tablespoons of the lavender tea into the cupcake batter and the icing as well.
In the recipe, the dried lavender flowers are mixed into the icing -I'm not too sure I want to go all the way to eat the small flowers, that's why I decided to use the tea water instead. Also, after a fruitless attempt of looking for blue food coloring (and forgetting to get the purple one instead), I ended up with a not-so-lavender pink colored frosting.. Oh well.
During the process, I somehow managed to put too much flour into the batter -thanks to the old shitty kitchen scale. Thus, the batter was more heavy and the cupcakes didn't turn out as light and fluffy as expected. While it still tastes good, the texture was rather dense like that of pound cake, but coarser and crustier. Bummer. The icing didn't turn out lovely too, in terms of consistency, because I put in too much liquid in order to escalate the lavender taste further. Another bummer.
But, being my lab rats (and probably for the sake of getting free pastry every week), my colleagues still applauded and praised me for the cupcakes. Haha.
Next on the series would probably be jasmine. What do you think?
(makes around 2 dozens of mini cupcakes)
225 gr all purpose flour, shifted
225 gr unsalted butter
150 gr sugar (original recipe calls for 225 gr sugar, feel free to adjust as needed)
2 tbsp lavender tea (made from 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers + hot water)
Preheat oven to 200 C. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and beat with electric mixer (medium speed) until well combined (around 2-3 minutes). Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before icing.
250 gr icing sugar, shifted
125 gr unsalted butter
2 tbsp lavender tea
blue/purple food coloring
Beat sugar and butter with electric mixer (medium speed) until light and fluffy. Add in lavender tea and food coloring, mix well.