FAREWELL SWEET SUMMER: ROSEMARY CHIFFON CUPCAKES

Rosemary chiffon cupcakes with lavender honey glaze

Summer is coming to a bitter cold end in the north of France… but I’m not ready to say good-bye, see you next year. So when I saw foodbeam’s Sugar High Friday event, I jumped at the chance to defy the chilly air that has begun to nip at my fingers and toes. Weapons of choice: rosemary, lavender, olive oil…miam…

I’ve been been privileged when it comes to dessert in the last few weeks, so I wanted a confection that could float, it was so light and airy… I flipped through all my books and magazines before laying my eyes upon it…chiffon cake! According to wikipedia, chiffon cake was invented in 1927 by a California insurance salesman named Harry Baker who ran a small catering business on the side. Who would have guessed?

The last challenge was just a little detail: the event was to make cupcakes, and I haven’t yet found the perfect muffin tins to join my growing collection of baking material. But after searching the cupboards, I came across my mini brioche cups. From there, the rest is history.

These little cakes were delightful with an afternoon tea, and a perfect partner for my morning coffee. Their scent was subtil, like the heat of this summer. From the plate they smiled up at me, cheerful and dancing. And like this summer, they were gone oh-too-soon.

Recipe: Rosemary Chiffon Cupcakes with Lavender Honey Glaze

for about 9 cupcakes
for the chiffon cupcakes:for the lavender honey glaze:
1/2 cup flour, sifted
little less than 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/8 cup olive oil
1tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 325°F or 160°C. Butter and flour 9 mini brioche pans,or muffin tins. Whisk the flour, 1/4 cup + 1 tbs sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Whisk about a 1/4 cup of water with the egg yolks, olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary, and vanilla in another bowl. Whisk into flour mixture until well combined. Put egg whites and cream of tarter into another bowl and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff, but not dry peaks form. Fold a large spoonful of whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining mixture until just mixed. Divide into cups and bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. I unmolded the cakes right away when I took them out of the oven, and allowed them to cool completely on wire racks. When cooled, dip each one in the lavender honey glaze, garnish with a sugared rosemary leaf, and allow to set for about 30 minutes.

for the rosemary honey glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/8 cup butter
about 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lavender honey
a pinch of lavender flowers
a few drops of lavender coloring

Bring the granulated sugar, milk, and butter to a boil, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and add the honey and flowers. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar, salt, and food coloring. Allow to cool until thick, stirring occasionally. Use right away.

for the sugared rosemary garnish:

at the moment when you whisk your egg whites, take a few fresh rosemary leaves and dip each one first in the egg white, then in sugar. Set aside for a few hours in a dry, semi-warm place. I put these ones next to the stove while the cupcakes were cooking.

p.s.
if you really want to bring out the taste of the rosemary, don’t be afraid to double the quantities… the aroma was very delicate in this recipe, and if I did it again, I would go for a bit more rosemary.

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3 comments

  1. These cupcakes look gorgeous! I really love the presentation, and the idea of putting rosemary in cupcakes!!! That’s amazing! I’m going to have to try these sometime 🙂

  2. Stunning, absolutely stunning! Not to mention they also look and sound delicious!

  3. sooo gorgeous – i included the photo on a blog post today at http://www.bloomacious.com
    cheers!

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