I’m the type of person who has a difficult time passing up a good deal. A downfall which explains the stack of cheap notebooks stacked neatly on my vanity, the array of clearance-priced purses hanging heavily on what is supposed to be my coat rack, the fact that I have more shoes in my room than I really have the space to keep, and the reason why my paychecks seem to disappear so quickly! The trait also explains my overflowing kitchen cupboards which are filled to the brim with ingredients and supplies that were simply too cheap to walk by!
Closing the doors on the cupboards is a challenge; usually resulting in a dangerous balancing act that ensures something will – no doubt – fall on me the next time I choose to open them. And thus, I learned the hard way that keeping my kitchen knives in this cabinet was a bad idea.
Anyway, the cupboard is in constant need of reorganizing, and yesterday, as I was doing just that, I happened to come across an unopened bottle of rose water with its clearance tag (marked 1.99) still attached. Having never seen a bottle before, I was surprised by the cost (although rose water isn’t very expensive full price), and added it to my order just as the poor cashier had finished ringing me up. I was apparently so excited about the purchase that I shoved it into the very back corner of my baking cabinet, never again to see the light of day.
Stupid impulse buys at the checkouts.
But when I did find the bottle; stuck behind 4 bags of varied degrees of dark chocolate chips, a package of lollipop sticks, and a vial of luster dust I’d also forgotten about; curiosity got the best of me. Cupcakes were necessary, because it would help me clean out my stuffed cabinet.
If only by a teaspoon.
Rose Cupcakes with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
These cupcakes start with a distinguished vanilla flavor, but finish on a very floral note. The rose water really adds more of a scent than a taste, but the presence is unmistakable. I sprinkled my cupcakes with chopped pistachios and topped them with handmade gumpaste roses.
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c (156 g) flour
6 Tbls (85 g) butter, room temp
3/4 c (149 g) sugar
2 egg whites, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rose water
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 c (118 ml) half and half, microwaved for 20 seconds to warm slightly
Preheat oven to 350F (275 ml) and line a cupcake tin.
Sift together salt, baking powder and flour and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add whites one at a time, beating well until each is fully incorporated. Add vanilla, rose water, and vanilla bean. Now add the 1/4 c of the milk, mix well, then sift in half of the flour mixture, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mixing just until combined. Add the remaining milk, then the remaining flour mixture, and spoon into liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Makes about 12 regular size cupcakes or 16 small souffle size cakes. Oh, and if you use the disposable souffle cups, make sure you cut a small slit in the rim of the cup so your guests will be able to easily remove them from the cakes.
White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!
1 c (199 g) sugar
5 egg whites
18 tbls (256 g) unsalted butter, softened slightly and sliced
1/4 c white chocolate, melted and cooled
Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. The buttercream may turn into a soupy curdled mess, but I assure you it will be ok; just beat it for a few minutes longer. It’ll come together! When the buttercream has reached the ideal consistency, add the melted and cooled white chocolate carefully. Try not to get any on the walls of the bowl as it will cool and harden there. Whip to incorporate.