Sweets for my sweet

Happy Valentines Day from The Marmalade Teapot! Valentines day is not one of those celebrations that I particularly favour or anticipate due to its over commercialisation here in the UK, unfortunately our supermarkets are a year round holiday as they cash in on the next big event for several months in advance. I always shudder & find myself tutting as I browse the aisles in September only to be confronted with both gardening products & Christmas decorations distastefully placed side by side (as someone who organises her tea cupboard by flavour & strength of tea this is pure pandemonium, generating thoughts of a post-apocalyptic world where calendars have been made redundant).

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That being said, there is a certain undeniable charm about Valentines. A day dedicated to treating & doting upon loved ones. The origins of St Valentine are a little obscure & it’s facts somewhat shrouded in history. Here in Wales  however, we have our own version of Valentines day, dydd Santes Dwynwen (Saint Dwynwens day) which is celebrated on January 25th. Dwynwen, our patron saint of lovers was a 4th century princess who was so unlucky in love (her one true love was turned into a block of ice) that she became a nun. She prayed that all true lovers are never subjected to her pain & are free to be together. We’re a nation of hopeless romantics.

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Valentines for me usually equates to being in the kitchen, concocting sweet treats or planning an indulgent feast to be consumed with a bottle of something containing fizz. This year burrito boy is taking me out for dinner (the boy did good) leaving me to give my undivided to creating something sweet (we’re sentimental buggers really). 

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My first fanciful bake is inspired by the romantic flower of choice, the rose. From steeping rose petals in water you create rosewater, a highly perfumed essence that has a flavour reminiscent of the middle east (think turkish delight).  Whilst rose is a beautiful flavour on its own merit, it wouldn’t be romance if this elegant flower didn’t have a perfectly matched partner.. that’s where pistachio’s come into the equation. A classic combination in both flavour & colour, these two companions really are a perfect marriage. Used in cupcakes, these dainty delights have a well-balanced sweetness & are light yet simultaneously moist for a cupcake. Lending their charming pastel colours to their appearance really do make these some of the prettiest little cakes that are almost too good to eat (almost…).


ROSE & PISTACHIO CUPCAKES
(makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 150ml yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground pistachios

For the buttercream icing:

  • 225g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • drop of green food colouring
  • (optional) 12 Lovehearts & pink fondant icing to decorate

Method:

  • Gently melt the butter over a low a heat in small saucepan or in the microwave
  • Using a jug, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla & rosewater
  • To grind the pistachios, put them in a blender & pulse them intermittently until fine
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar & ground pistachios
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients & pour in the melted butter & yogurt mixture
  • Fold together until fully combined
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases (they will be pretty full)
  • Bake the cupcakes at 180C for 25 minutes, until golden brown
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tray & leave to fully cool on a cooling rack
  • To make the icing, soften the butter in a large bowl
  • Taking half of the icing sugar, beat together until smooth
  • Add the remaining icing sugar & beat again
  • Add the rosewater & enough food colouring & beat until a smooth pistachio coloured icing is formed
  • Put the icing into a piping bag & pipe evenly on top of each cupcake
  • Top with Lovehearts, fondant icing, sprinkles, whatever tickles your fancy

cupcake

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4 thoughts on “Sweets for my sweet

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