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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pistachio Cupcakes with Rose Petal Buttercream



I made an impromptu decision on a Thursday afternoon to make cupcakes for a party on Friday afternoon. I knew I wanted to make pistachio cupcakes, my homage to Indian sweets. I didn't have a lot of time or options, so I ran out at lunch to the Ferry Building, conveniently located across the street from work. I managed to find some pistachio cream (at $19.99 for 8 ounces! Ouch!) at the Village Market and rose petal jelly and small, edible rose buds at Boulettes Larder.

I decided on a chiffon style cake this time around. I want to make an important point outright. This is a far trickier method than the creaming method that I use for most of the recipes in the blog. Many things can always go wrong in baking; this is even truer with this style of cake. It shouldn't stop you from trying, but if there is one thing I learned from the professionals that I took classes with, the key is being able to work with whatever the outcome is.

In this case, I made quite a bit of batter. As such, my oven was packed with cupcakes and they were baking unevenly. Did I risk opening the oven to shift them around? Opening an oven too early in the process can cause a draft and result in fallen cupcakes. Or did I leave them be and deal with some cupcakes being over done? In the end, I waited until about halfway through the baking time, then opened the oven and shifted the cupcakes around. In the end, I would say about 8 of the 36 cupcakes fell. I used the good ones for the party and covered the others with a bit of frosting and saved them for the family.

The pistachio cake was an experiment. I was happy with the outcome. Despite the baking issues I had, the cake was tasty, and in my opinion very pistachio-y. It was light and airy, just like chiffon should be. I went light on the frosting so it wouldn't overpower the cake. I didn't get much of a rose flavor from the jelly, but the color was nice and I could definitely smell roses (most likely from the buds). If I had planned ahead, I would have order some rose water or syrup to help liven the frosting some.


Pistachio Cupcakes
36 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

2-3/4 cups cake flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup grape seed oil (or vegetable oil)
8 egg yolks (approximately 6 ounces)
1/2 cup water
4 ounces pistachio cream (approximately 1/3 cup)
10 egg whites (approximately 10 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oil, egg yolks, water, and pistachio cream. Stir to combine.
3. On a low setting, start to beat the dry mixture and slowly add the wet. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until pistachio cream is incorporated.
4. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl.
5. Whip egg whites with whip attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. With the mixer on medium speed, add cream of tarter and slowly add sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
6. Scoop a cupful of the stiff egg whites into the batter and stir to combine. This should lighten up the batter.
7. Transfer the egg whites to the batter and gently fold until there are no more streaks of egg white.
8. Scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Tip: Cake flour is a must for chiffon. All-purpose won't give you the same delicate texture.



pistachio cream


Rose Petal Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup rose petal jelly

1. Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
2. Add 3-4 cups of sifted powdered sugar and jelly, beat until combined.
3. Add more powdered sugar as needed to get to whatever consistency/sweetness you wish to acheive.



rose petal jelly


Assemble
1. Frost cooled cupcakes lightly with buttercream.
2. For pistachio garnish, grind up pistachios in a small food processor. take up some of the ground nuts into your hand and press the edges of the frosted cupcake into the mixture.
3. Otherwise top with edible rose bud or edible rose petal.


28 Comments:

Anonymous chochotte said...

So pretty! =)

It's strange: I've been messing around with pistachio and rosewater combinations a lot too for a few days now, after deciding to pick up a big bag of shelled pistachios and a bottle of rosewater from a local Indian grocer. I've never used pistachio cream, though, and at that price I probably won't in future - yikes! I just blitz the nuts until they're finely ground and then use them as you would ground almonds. At the moment in my oven there is a cake made using creamed butter and fine sugar, eggs, equal amounts of powdered pistachios and almonds, the juice and zest of an orange, a tablespoon of rosewater plus a little bit of flour. I'm not sure if it'd translate well to cupcakes as it'll be dense...about half an hour of baking still to go!

I also like to make pistachio and almond cake without flour, using just powdered nuts, eggs, sugar, a little raising agent and puréed poached oranges or lemons.

5/13/2006 12:23 PM  
Blogger april said...

Chockylit - I saw your Vietnamese coffee cupcakes mentioned on the Food Section - Congrats!

May is the month for roses! My rose bush has hundreds of blooms on it right now and this post is motivating me to try to make a rose syrup from them. I have tried Magliano's organic rose syrup (I got mine at purelyorganic.com, but I think whole food is carrying it now)before and was blown away by it. It wasn't at all flowery the way rose water can be but just tasted purely like a sweet rose. Between the rose syrup and the pistachio cream, though, this might be the most expensive batch of cupcakes ever!! I'd like to try pistachio cream, too, but I don't know if I could achieve that texture even using a Vitamix. Do you have any experience with this? In my pistachio ice creams I use a very tiny amount of Frangelica just to bump up the flavor. It's delicious!

5/13/2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger McAuliflower said...

That pistachio creme sounds so tempting...

I'd love to play with a pitachio cupcake with cherry or saffron frosting. Ok, maybe not play with it- but eat it!

5/13/2006 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Framboise said...

One more time I'm soooooooo impressed ! How can you make so simple cakes that seem so exceptional !??? My problem is... I've been looking for some pistachio cream fot months now and haven't been able to find any. Do you have a brand name that could help me in my quest ?

5/13/2006 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not use ground pistachios instead of wildly expensive pistachio cream? What's in the pistachio cream other than ground pistachios?

5/13/2006 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Gorgeous!

5/13/2006 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anita said...

So pretty! I've never used rose petal jelly before, only rose water. The colors are beautiful!

5/13/2006 7:55 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

chochotte, there must be pistachio in the air. yeah, i know there are lots of resources and options. they key for me was, i was darned pressed for time so one didn't have time to shop around or shell and grind up a bunch pistachios. also, i am sure pistachio cream can be found cheaper. the ferry building is not cheap.. but grinding makes sense... i think the addition of almond flour sounds nice too.

thanks, april, i have't ever used vitamix. i will have to check it out. frangelica sounds great. i like that stuff.

framboise, unfortunately, this is the first i have seen of pistachio cream. its an italian brand. so maybe start at italian grocery stores.

hi, anonymous. yeah that is a fine idea. like i mentioned in the post, i was pressed for time and shopping on impulse. i did not have the time or patience to shell and grind pistachios on a thursday night.

thanks ivonne and anita!

5/13/2006 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Looks awesome! How did you get that light batter into the cupcake papers? using a scoop, 2 spoons or pastry bag method? thanks!

5/13/2006 10:42 PM  
Blogger april said...

Just wanted to say that you can buy the same brand of pistachio cream that Chockylit used here, but believe it or not -- it is even more expensive($21.99). The pistachio cream (Stramondo brand) contains organic cane sugar as the only other ingredient. I'd say the difference between using the pistachio cream and using ground pistachios is texture and color(and a lot of time, of course, like Chockylit said). You can sift your pistachios finely though, and nearly eliminate that roughness that sometimes accompanies cakes made with nut flour. The bright green color of the nut butter that Chockylit used is because the pistachios are blanched and peeled before making them into butter. Learn to make your own pistachio butter here.

5/14/2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

Jessica, I used a 2 ounce ice cream scoop. It worked great.

April, thank you so much for posting all that helpful information.

5/14/2006 10:05 AM  
Blogger Papilles et Pupilles said...

So amazing !

5/14/2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous smin said...

those cupcakes look absolutely beautiful, they're beckoning to me. Could you use the same batter to make a normal cake instead of cupcakes? I'm never really confortable with cakes that use beaten eggwhites.

5/15/2006 3:49 AM  
Blogger lara stein pardo said...

Your blog is awesome. You're very creative in your cupcake baking/making/creating, and the photography is wonderful aswell. Can't wait to try some of these . . .

5/15/2006 9:20 AM  
Anonymous chochotte said...

Mmm I understand about being pressed for time! In future, I'm sure you have your own favourite suppliers - but I do find that Indian grocers are the best for interesting ingredients - I got a bottle of rosewater for 99p/$1.80 (they were charging five times that much in a local deli) and 18 ounces of shelled pistachios for £5/$9. In fact it was even cheaper than that seems, to be honest, because the exchange rate is so crazy at the moment.

5/15/2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

mm...pistachio and rose, sounds lovely!

5/15/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger chockylit said...

smin, I wouldn't skip the egg whites in this recipe... Basically you would need to make a different recipe based on something like the creaming method...

5/17/2006 9:56 PM  
Anonymous keiko said...

Hi Chockylit - everything you make is beautiful but I'm intrigued by this combination. I've found the paper moulds (yay!) so am looking forward to trying some of your recipes - I know mine won't be as beautiful as yours though! Thank you for the inspiration, as always.

5/18/2006 8:57 AM  
Blogger Steffles said...

very pretty. you've got me excited bout cupcakes.... and i love your experiments with different flavours and textures. great blog!!

5/19/2006 9:07 AM  
Anonymous ashley said...

hi your food blog here is my new favourite. :D i love the photos. i love all the crazy creations. i can't wait to try making the horchata cupcakes! what an idea. so excited. thank you for being awesome. :)

5/19/2006 3:50 PM  
Blogger T said...

That flavor combination is simply divine! Those are beautiful cupcakes (as are all your cupcakes). This blog is really dangerous for me- I always leave salivating, heh.

5/21/2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Bill Belew said...

These look absolutely divine. Even with the price of the pistachio cream considered, I may just run out and get some. Thanks for inspiring me and giving me a new favorite dessert!

5/22/2006 8:58 AM  
Anonymous rac said...

Hi Chockylit!
First time here.
I baked the pistachio cupcakes with my 7 years old daughter (future pastry chef btw). She was constantly asking me: Do I like pistachio paste??? I told her: I'ts like peanut butter but green!. At the end she loved the cupcakes.
There is a web site www.bakerscatalogue.com. They have an All-Natural Pistachio Paste - 11-oz - $9.25. Not that bad!
Love your recipes, photos and comments. Keep it up girl!

5/22/2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger diva. said...

wow. a bit curious though, does pistachio cream taste like peanut butter sorta? i've never tasted it and now i'm all geared up to find pistachio cream too! ur cupcakes look absolutely lovely, something perfect for summer. light, fun & pretty.

5/29/2006 4:13 AM  
Blogger chockylit said...

actually, my husband tried to use it like peanut butter... he said it tasted exactly like ground up pistachios. it's pretty sweet, a little grainy, and kind of oily.

5/31/2006 10:41 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

hi another Cheryl the baker here :)
These look & sound amazing. I just discovered your blog and am loving it!

7/08/2006 5:37 PM  
Anonymous JM said...

sounds delicious! I make ice cream with the same flavours and it is wonderfull. Ground pistachios, rose water and ground cardamom.

7/08/2006 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just used the rose petal frosting on your vanilla cucake recipe because of the expensive ingredients in the pistachio ones and it was a big hit. For those of you wondering where to pick up rose petal jam, go to a Whole Foods market. $3.75

8/05/2006 7:47 PM  

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