Anyway back to the tragedy. Flicking through my own recipes, usually because I need to check if I've over done it on posts about salted caramel (I haven't and this needs to be sorted out immediately), and I discovered I've only written about chocolate three times. THREE. What an outrage. I sincerely apologise and humbly offer you these chocolate, rose and pistachio cupcakes.
With Valentine's day just around the corner, these might be the perfect treat for your loved ones. Loved ones doesn't have to mean lover, and I reckon Valentine's day shouldn't be exclusively for couples. It should be about sharing love. It should be about telling your best friend they're amazing. About giving your sisters a hug for putting up with your singing because they love you. About telling your boyfriend you love the mix tape he made you even if your friends think its lame. About sharing cake with your mum, because she's your mum. About sharing the love everyday not just in February.
The icing on these really makes them. It's light like a marshmallow and soft like a hug. How many cupcakes can you say feel like a hug? With a wickedly rich chocolate centre these are the bomb-diggidy. And topped with pistachio's and rosewater these are pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to elegance. Unfortunately my icing skills aren't really up to cake decorating elegance par. I'm blaming it on the texture of the icing (rather than my ridiculously unsteady hand) BUT when in doubt just wing it, and the icing sculpts really well so just go for it!
So make a batch and give them to your boyfriend. Share them with your besties. Wrap them up in ribbon and pop them on your mums doorstep. Just know that you are loved.
Chocolate, Rosewater and Pistachio Cupcakes
cupcake recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery 'Cupcakes and Muffins' and icing recipe from David Herbert's 'Best Baking Recipes Ever'
makes about 8-10 (depending on your cupcake tin size)
3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs plain flour
2 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g castor sugar
1 tablespoon rosewater
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 large eggwhite
a few drops rose coloured food colouring
1/4 cup toasted and roughly chopped pistachios to decorate
Preheat oven to 170ºC, and line a cupcake tray with paper cases.
In an stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar together until soft, and slightly fluffy (alternatively use electric beaters.) Add in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and on a low speed beat until the mixture comes together and resembles a sandy consistency.
Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla together and add to the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides if necessary and beat until the mixture is smooth and lump free (but not too long as you'll over work the batter.)
Spoon the mixture into your prepared cases, about two thirds full and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, combine the sugar, water, rosewater and cream of tartar in a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil once the sugar has dissolved. In a large bowl, or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently pour in your hot sugar mixture beating constantly for about 6-7 minutes, until the mixture is really glossy and stiff. Add in a drop or two of food colouring until the mixtures is a light pink (think pastel not barbie.)
Using a knife (or a piping bag if you are super clever) gently spread the icing over each cupcake and top with the toasted pistachios. Eat immediately. Best eaten on the day they are made, as the icing doesn't hold up spectacularly well the next day.