Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kulfi Cupcakes

I've talked about Mr. C a lot. Much to his chagrin. I've told you about his travels around the world, his little quirks, and how we drive each other crazy on a weekly basis. I've always wondered how you, at home, pictured this guy as you read my posts. I mentioned he was born in Nepal and lived in Pakistan, so many of you may have thought that Mr. C tall, dark, and handsome Middle Eastern dreamboat. Sorry to disappoint you. He's a short, pale, and Irish (but still a dreamboat in his own right).

Think Conan O'Brien crossed with Prince Harry. With a little bit of hobbit thrown in.

Image approximation

A small Irish kid living in the Asia and the Middle East? Weird, eh? I know. When we first started dating, I couldn't get over the fact that he smelt like curry all the time. Nowadays, I'm really glad he lived such an eventful life. I am absolutely in love with the food of his childhood, and it's wonderful that I don't have a significant other who turns his nose up at new and strange foods. And, the best thing about Mr. C, is that I get to bake really tasty things for him. 

Kulfi (6)
This month, the Sweetest Kitchen's Mystery Box Challenge asked us to use, not a flavour, but love for inspiration. Honestly, there was only one choice of cupcake for this contest - it's a taste that Mr. C dreams about: Kulfi, the Indian and Pakistani dessert of champions. It's like the god of ice cream. All other ice creams bow down before it. Yes, even Chunky Monkey. Traditionally, it's sweet cardamom and pistachio, with a hint of rose water. Yes, there are a lot of other variations, but this one takes the cake. Or cupcake.

We've created a soft, light cardamom cake with crushed pistachios baked right inside. The buttercream on top has been kissed by real rose water. Accept no substitutes (if there's not Arabic on the bottle, you've got the wrong stuff). When we bit into the first batch, we shared a moment. Yes. This was it. The flavour was perfect

Let's hope you guys like it as well. If we win the Mystery Box Challenge, we could win a lot of neat-o stuff:

Kulfi (2)

Kulfi Cupcakes 
Cardamom and Pistachio Cakes with Rose Water Buttercream Frosting 

Makes about 16 Cupcakes

1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
Large pinch cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped; reserve 2 tablespoons for decorating the cupcakes

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together your cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder. In small bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, yolks, and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring slowly with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Your batter will be incredibly thick, but don't worry. We'll fix that later.

2) Place your egg whites  and cream of tartar in a chilled bowl and whip with an electric mixer. Mix until foamy, add the 2 tablespoons of sugar, and keep on mixing until it is glossy and is able to hold stiff peaks. Take about a half cup of the whites and really mix it into your batter to lighten it up. Then, very carefully using a spatula, slowly fold the rest of the egg whites into your batter. Fold until there are no white streaks left. Add your pistachios, and fold one or two times to mix evenly.

3) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes - or when the top of your cupcake springs back up when you touch down on it slightly. Set out to cool while you make the frosting.

Rose Water Swiss Buttercream
4 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 ½ teaspoons rosewater
1-2 drops pink food colouring

1) Over a double boiler, whisk your egg whites and sugar until all the little sugar bits have been incorporated. Take off the heat.

2) With your electric mixer, mix the egg whites until cool, about nine minutes. Start adding the butter, one at a time, while you whip. At one point, you will hit the "curdled stage" where you will wonder why it looks so lumpy and curse my name for giving you this recipe. But, fear not. This is all part of the plan. Whip the heck out of that bugger until smooth and add the rosewater and food colouring. Pipe on your cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the reserved pistachios.

Kulfi (1)


Monet said...

This has to be one of the prettiest cupcakes I've seen! I imagine that the taste of cardamom is just lovely with that rosewater buttercream. Such a wonderful recipe you have here! Thank you for sharing with me today. Have a splendid Saturday and Sunday!

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

I dated a guy who admittedly ate only "North American" food. Clearly he was not the man for me. I'm glad you've found someone who shares your love of food and flavours. The rosewater butter cream sounds incredible.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful idea for a cupcake flavour! They sound perfect. Lovely photos too.

Unknown said...

These cupcakes look so good. I love the piped on buttercream. I hope you win and you'll get my vote. Love pistachios!! What size tip did you use to pipe on the buttercream?

Leanne said...

What a fantastic flavour combo!

Lina Thomlinson said...

These sound very unique and a great entry for the contest. I'm sure I'll be voting for you as you always have such creative entries.

Miri said...

Not only look gorgous but sound delicious too! You've got my vote!

Evan @swEEts said...

This cupcake sounds heavenly.. filled with love :) I've never used rosewater in baking but I think I really need to jump on that wagon and find some very very soon! I can't wait to try this cardamom cupcake!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Courtney!!! You won the Sweetest Kitchens Mystery Cupcake Challenge!! True to my word you got my vote!! Yay!

~m said...

congrats on the win! these look delicious!

Sugar Swings said...

wow what a great flavor, congrats on winning too! I have to make this combo!!!

Elisabeth said...

These are the most beautiful cupcakes I have ever seen!
The frosting looks like delicate rose petals, and the rosewater buttercream sounds oh, so yummy too.
Thank you for sharing your recipe, as well!

Jessie Parker said...

gorgeous cupcakes, what tip did you use for the piping? They look so fantastic!

C&C Cakery said...

Galexi and Jessie - I used a 1M tip on a 90 degree angle. Start from the middle and pipe out to the sides in a swirl :)

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