baking · cardamom · cupcakes · minicupcakes · pistachio · recipes · rose water · think outside the box

Outside the box

I know.  I missed posting last week.  Things have been so crazy.  I’ve been fighting a cold that just won’t go away and work has been busy and Thanksgiving is around the corner!  Excuses, excuses.  But, I’m back and will hopefully be on track.
pistachiorose3I enjoy trying out different flavor combinations when I bake, especially those that are “outside the box.”  In a lot of Indian/Middle Eastern baking and cooking cardamom, rose water, and pistachios are very common.  Of these three ingredients, rose water may be the one you’re  most unfamiliar with.  Rose water is just what it sounds like, though don’t confuse it with rose syrup (they are two different things).  Roses are distilled with steam to create rose water.  Yeah, that’s it.  You can find rose water at health food stores or in the international aisle at your grocery store or at an Indian grocery store (that’s probably your best bet). You can use rose water in place of vanilla.  Just like putting on too much perfume, you can add too much rose water to a dish, so be careful using it.
These three ingredients bring a lot to the table by creating a unique flavor profile.  Cardamom gives a spiciness, rose water adds a subtle floral aroma, and pistachios add a nutty and crunchy texture.
pistachiorose4Here’s the recipe:
Pistachio-Rose Mini-Cupcakes (by Naseem)
Yield:  about 24 mini-cupcakes
Ingredients for the cake:
1/4 cup raw and shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
(reserve about 2 tablespoons for the frosting–optional)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon rose water
Ingredients for the frosting:
2/3 cups powdered sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon rose water
green gel food color (optional)
sugar flowers (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line mini-cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
2.  Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, can cardamom) in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
3.  Cream butter and sugar in a bowl fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
4.  Add egg and beat to combine.
5.  Add flour mixture in three additions, making sure to mix with each addition.
6.  Add vanilla, milk, and rosewater and mix.
7.  Fold in pistachios, leaving about 2 tablespoons for the frosting (optional).
8.  Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners with batter.
9.  Bake 16 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back lightly when pressed.
10.  Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
11.  While the cupcakes are cooking, cream the butter in you stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
12.  Add rosewater and mix, then add green gel color (optional) following the directions on the box until you reach the desired color.
14.  Add sugar 1/3 cup at a time, making sure to combine with each addition.
15.  Fold in pistachios (optional).
16.  Using an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes.
17.  Top each cupcake with a sugar flower (optional).

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