I decided on this combination during spring, when I picked several bunches of violets and crystalized them. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use them for at the time, but came up with this recipe once I realised I wanted to highlight the springtime nature of the violets. I knew I could do this with orange blossom water frosting and, to keep it quite simple, a high quality vanilla cupcake. I’m very happy with the result. I think the flavour combination is great, and the finished result is pretty, refined, and quite ladylike. I think they sing spring. They are fresh and light enough to be suitable for me to take to work for a summer morning tea, and give on a pretty plate as a farewell gift for a most beloved boss. I used a vanilla pod for the cupcake, and think the result was perfect, but you could substitute vanilla paste of vanilla extract if you wanted, and avoid the milk infusion step.
Makes about 24 mini cupcakes
|1||vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped|
Orange blossom water frosting
|1/2||teaspoon||orange blossom water|
To make the cupcakes: place the split vanilla bean and it’s seeds in a small saucepan with the milk. Gently heat, but do not boil. When the milk starts to smell of vanilla, and it’s hot to touch, turn the heat off, cover and allow to infuse and cool.
Preheat the oven to 180oC. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix till just combined. Grease a mini cupcake pan. Dollop the mixture into the pan, filling the cups just below the top, and bake for about 10 minutes, or till a clean skewer inserted to the middle of the middle cupcake, comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely
To make the frosting: beat the butter till light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, then the orange blossom water.
To decorate: place icing in piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle. Moving from the outside to the middle of each cupcake, pipe a swirl of icing on each and top with a crystalised violet. Arrange on a platter and serve.