Tag Archives: rosewater

Yoghurt, lime and pistachio cake with rosewater and lime drizzle…

My love of festivals (of the music variety) has been well documented on this blog as has my tradition of festival baking (here, here and here). I managed to get the first of this year’s festivals under my belt pretty early on when I headed to Meadowlands in East Sussex at the end of May. It wasn’t just the festival we were going for, it was also my friend Georgie’s ‘Hen Don’t’. As you may have surmised from the name, she’d stressed to her Bridesmaids that she didn’t want a traditional hen do, which was totally fine with me. The thought of having to walk around in sparkly feather boas and sashes (and the rest…) fills me with dread. It kind of goes against my festival morals but we had decided to ‘glamp’, which involved turning up at the car park, having our bags carried for us, being housed in a lovely bell tent with jute flooring and sleeping on an air bed clad in lovely soft duvets and bedding…but I’m not going to lie to you…it was amazing!

IMG_5961[1] IMG_5963[1]

I’m getting a bit waylaid here…back to cake!

A few of us were asked to bring some baked goods with us so that we could have a little afternoon tea on Saturday afternoon. I’d had a bit of a busy week in the run up to the festival but I try to grab every opportunity I can to test some of the recipes that I find in cook books, rip out of magazines, find online and take photos of. I’m continually hoarding these recipe snippets in a ‘must try’ pile, and here was my chance to give a couple a go. I went for a yoghurt, lime and pistachio cake with rosewater and lime drizzle (if you’ve had enough of my wittering you can just scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe)…

Yoghurt, lime and pistachio cake 2

and a white chocolate, almond and blueberry blondie…

White chocolate, almond and blueberry blondie

Please forgive me for the rubbish standard of the photos…I’m using the excuse that all I had to cut the cakes with was a blunt butter knife and…I was in the middle of a field! 🙂

Along with some delicious Malteaser fridge cake and squidgy brownies we had a pretty good spread…

Festival afternoon tea

Festival afternoon tea

It went some way to lining our stomachs and powering our dancing later on that evening!

After getting home and recovering from the weekend of festival excess it wasn’t long before I made the yoghurt, lime and pistachio cake again. This time I managed to take a much better photo…

Yoghurt, lime & pistachio cake

It’s a pretty unassuming looking cake but the fragrant flavours all work really well together and the drizzle, together with the inclusion of ground almonds makes it exceptionally moist. It benefits from being wrapped up and kept in the fridge for a day or two, which is handy if you need to make it in advance as long as you can refrain from pilfering a slice in the middle of the night Nigella stylee!

A slice

I found the recipe in Rachel Allen’s ‘Bake‘ book and made a couple of tweaks.

To make it you’ll need…

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

75g ground almonds

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 generous tbsp or 50g runny honey

250ml natural yogurt

150ml sunflower oil

Grated zest of 1 lime

100g pistachios, roughly chopped

For the syrup

150ml water

100g caster sugar

Juice of 1 lime

1-2 tsp rose water (this depends on your taste and the strength of your rosewater. I use Star Kay White Rose Extract, which you can find in Lakeland. It really packs a punch and you’ll only need a small amount i.e. 1-2tsp. Whereas this Natural Essence of Rosewater from The English Provender is a lot weaker so you may want to add more.)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir in the ground almonds and caster sugar.

Mix the eggs, honey, yogurt, sunflower oil and lime zest together in another bowl.

Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Use a whisk to bring them together until they’re just combined. Finally stir in the chopped pistachios before pouring the mixture into the tin you prepared earlier.

Pop it in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

You need to leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to make your lime and rosewater syrup for drizzling.

Simply boil the water and sugar in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes until it has reduced by half. Then add the lime juice and leave to boil for another 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and leave it to cool before adding your rosewater. Take heed of my notes above regarding the strength of your rosewater…add a little, then have a slurp, if you want it stronger then add a little more to suit your own taste. If you’re too heavy handed with the rosewater at this stage your cake might end up tasting like a bar of soap…be warned!

Use a skewer to make holes all over the top of the warm cake. Spoon over the syrup making sure every bit of it sees some of the syrupy action.

I finished the cake off by scattering a few more pistachios on top and dusting it with icing sugar just before serving.

We ate it on its own but I think it’d be delicious with a dollop of natural yoghurt or creme fraiche on the side (festival optional).

Enjoy!

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Rosewater wedding cupcakes…a whopping 96 of them…

This weekend was a very proud time for me…not only was I a bridesmaid for the very first time, but my good friends Nic & Will had also given me the honour of asking me to make their wedding cakes for them! I’ve spent the last few months planning, list writing and doing taste tests in preparation but finally, after a whole week of nights spent tossing, turning and (eventually) dreaming about all manner of cake related disasters, the big day arrived! The bride and groom had decided on rosewater cupcakes, which I set about making on Friday. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what 96 freshly baked cupcakes look like…(I was sadly chuffed to be able to use my stackable wire racks 🙂

The next day, I was up early, I hired a car and made my way to Norfolk to Cliff Barns, the coolest wedding venue I’ve ever seen! It had it’s own dressing up room…

and ‘throne room’ dedicated to the Queen…

and the most awesome kitchen, equipped for every eventuality and made even better by the temporary addition of my KitchenAid…

I set to work making up industrial quantities of rosewater flavoured buttercream icing in white and pastel green to top my little army of wedding cupcakes…

Ansell, my very talented 3 year old helper kept me company (I was extremely jealous of his dinosaur apron!)…

The next day, the day of the wedding, it was time to set the scene. I’d brought along a vast array of cake stands, boxes, teapots, cups, saucers & plates to create the vision that I’d been planning. Here I am adding the finishing touches to it…

Before stepping back to admire the end result…

My friend, Reika, who lives in Japan sent over a hand-sewn bride and groom, which took pride of place…

and of course there was a bit of shameless self promotion 😉 …

The recipe I used was a very simple one, after a few trials I decided that to over complicate something that didn’t need over complicating was just plain silly.

So, to make a batch of 12 of my rosewater cupcakes with rosewater buttercream icing you need…

175g unsalted butter

175g caster sugar

3 eggs

175g self raising flour

30ml milk

1 tsp rosewater (I recommend Star Kay White Rosewater from Waitrose for flavour)

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a cupcake tin with paper cases.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.

Beat in the eggs. Followed by the flour, milk and rosewater. Make sure everything is well combined.

Scoop the mixture into cupcake cases, I highly recommend using an ice cream scoop like this. It will change your cupcake making life for the better!

Pop them into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until light brown and springy when pressed on top.

To make the rosewater buttercream icing you need…

400g icing sugar

200g butter

A splash of milk

2 tbsp rosewater (now this time I chose to use this Rosewater from The English Provender as it had a much weaker but more delicate flavour, which balanced the stronger variety used in the sponge) 

Simply beat all of the ingredients except the milk together well until light and fluffy. Add a small splash of milk a a time until you have a good consistency for piping or spreading onto the top of your cupcakes.

Once your cupcakes are fully cooled you can use your artistic licence to decorate them any which way you like!

I think they make the perfect summer cupcake and it appears that the wedding guests approved as somehow 96 cupcakes were devoured extremely quickly with the last few making it until the next day and providing the perfect post-wedding hangover breakfast! 🙂 

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Delicate pistachio and rosewater cupcakes…

I stumbled upon a bottle of rosewater in the supermarket the other day (not literally) and bought it on impulse with no idea what I was going to do with it. I scoured my collection of recipe books and found a recipe for pistachio and rosewater cupcakes in my book of 500 cupcakes and muffins.

I felt quite nervous baking with rosewater for the first time and was cautious with quantities as I didn’t want my cupcakes tasting like a bowl of pot pourri. The sponge was very light and the cream cheese and pistachio frosting was delicious but the delicate flowery taste of the rosewater was barely discernible. I’ll definitely be braver and add more next time.

To make these delicate pistachio and rosewater cupcakes you will need…

225g unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 eggs

1 tsp rosewater

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line a couple of cupcake tins with 18 cupcake cases.

Simply put all of the cupcake ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a handheld electric mixer until it’s smooth and pale.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases. They should be approx 2/3 full.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before moving onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing you need…

200g cream cheese

175g icing sugar

2 tbsp rosewater

3 tbsp chopped pistachios

Use an electric whisk to mix together the icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. I recommend sifting your icing sugar to minimise the chances of lumpy icing. Once it’s smooth stir in the rosewater and the chopped pistachios. Dollop a generous amount of icing onto your cooled cupcakes. The presence of the pistachio’s in the icing is a bit of a godsend…you’ve got no chance of creating a lump free, perfectly coiffured cupcake so just pile it on and be done with it! 🙂

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