I recently stumbled across *Quirky Cupcake* the home of Cupcake Hero, which I've seen mention of here and there.. well this month's Cupcake Hero ingredient is cocoa, and even though I'm not sure I've been officially entered into the Cupcake Hero ranks to participate, I went for it anyway, and here's my entry.
Purple Cashmere Cupcakes. These are lavender cupcakes using an adulterated recipe for Red Velvet (get the name now?) - with lavender chocolate buttercream. They actually taste like something of a spice cake all on their own - but with the frosting, they're quite heavenly (in fact, after eating the first one I did a little dance of joy around the kitchen).
Here's the obligatory "hey look! cute kid eating it!"
I was inspired to the lavender use with chocolate because of some chocolates Dan recently got me - Newtree's Rejoice. It was so lovely, I had to see if I could apply the same idea elsewhere.
So, on to the recipes..
Some prepwork -
Lavender butter -
Grind or rub 4 teaspoons lavender into a food processor, blender, whatnot along with a squeeze of lemon juice, and 2 cups unsalted, room temp butter. run till all well blended. again, let sit a few hours or overnight (in the fridge if it's overnight).
Lavender Oil -
Grind or rub between your hands 3 teaspoons of culinary lavender (i found some in the spice section at my local supermarket, actually) and immerse in 1 1/2 cups of cooking oil (I used canola). Peel half a lemon and drop the peels into the oil as well, shake up and let sit - i only let it sit for a few hours, but overnight would probably be better.
Purple Cashmere Cupcakes
(adapted from here)
2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup lavender oil (lemon peels removed, but otherwise unstrained)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 container liquid purple dye (blue and red make purple!)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350. Prepare either 3 8in round cake pans, or enough cupcake tins for 24 large cupcakes
Sift dry ingredients together
Whisk wet ingredients together
Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour into pans.
Bake 15 - 30 minutes or until cake bounces back when touched.
Chocolate Lavender Frosting
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups lavender butter at room temp.
3/4 cup cocoa powder
Combine water and sugar in heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir until all sugar is moistened. Heat on medium, careful not to burn, till candy thermometer reads 240.
Which heating sugar, in blender, whisk egg whites on high until just at soft peak. don't over-mix.
turn mixer on high and *slowly* pour sugar mixture into egg whites. leave mixer on high for about 25 minutes.
Add butter 1/4 cup at a time. at some point the mixture will get all lumpy and weird, just let it keep mixing. blend until smooth - continue to blend while adding vanilla and chocolate. again, blend till smooth. taste - add more chocolate to taste. you're going for a milk chocolaty flavour.