Cardamom + honey cupcakes
When I first mentioned the concept for these cupcakes to my partner, he screwed up his nose and made a gagging noise. Regardless of his reaction, I pushed forward. He began to come around when the smell of baking cake started wafting out of the oven but still wasn’t convinced when I offered him a taste test. In an unprecedented move, he asked if he could eat the cupcake later…maybe even tomorrow…or the next day…
After a few hours on gentle* persuasion, I managed to coax him in to sharing a cupcake with me. He nibbled a corner of the cupcake with the expression of a baby who had just tried lemon for the first time. Slowly, his grimace turned to a smile, and then to the intense maniacal look that my English Bulldog gives to anything resembling food. We had a winner.
Fair warning, if you do not like aromatic spices, these may not be for you. However, if you are partial to a sneaky soy chai latte at Sunday brunch, you have found your mecca.
*Not so gentle.
Cardamom cupcakes – makes 12
170 millilitres of whole milk
4 to 8 cardamom pods (to taste)
170 grams of plain flour
2 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
80 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
200 grams of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom
125 grams of honey
125 grams of caster sugar
125 grams of egg whites
380 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
Yellow or gold gel food colouring
Make the cardamom cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 180◦C.
- Line a cupcake tin with cupcake patties.
- Gently crush the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a large knife to release the seeds.
- Place the milk in a small saucepan with the crushed cardamom pods and seeds. Heat slowly until the milk is almost boiled. Set aside for 15 minutes to infuse, then strain the milk to remove the cardamom pods.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and ground cardamom. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the caster sugar to the butter and cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the vanilla bean paste, lemon zest and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk infusion.
- Evenly divide the cake batter between the cupcake patties.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out of the centre of the cupcakes clean. Set aside to cool.
Make the honey buttercream
- Combine the sugar, honey and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the stand mixer bowl over a saucepan of water to create a double boiler. Ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the stand mixer bowl.
- Heat the sugar, honey and egg whites to 70◦C, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
- Once at temperature, transfer the stand mixture bowl to the stand mixer. With a whisk attachments, beat the eggs, honey and sugar on a high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
- Change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment. Add the butter slowly on a low speed.
Assemble the cardamom and honey cupcakes
- Using gel food colouring, tint the buttercream to your desired shade.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe the buttercream on to the using a Wilton 1B tip.
- Finish with a segment of fresh fig and gold leaf (if desired).