As a writer, it’s important to get to know your genre. With the new book I am writing, I found myself entering a new world and so one afternoon, I decided to take a trip to the bookstore and mingle with my new genre.
At the shop, I beelined for the ‘Childrens 10+’ section and spent the next hour and a half familiarising myself with the authors and discovering magical stories… Okay, so I spent the first twenty minutes salivating over the Harry Potter illustrated editions, but then I mingled.
I found an armchair in the corner and immersed myself in literary delights. From Lewis Carroll to Enid Blyton to C.S. Lewis to Michael Ende, I sponged them up. I fell in love with a hardbacked, gold-foiled collectors edition of Wind in the Willows, which I so wish I had bought.
Nevertheless, when I left the bookshop I felt inspired, peaceful and satiated. On the way back to the tram, I popped into the Body Shop and treated myself to some Vanilla Marshmallow bubble bath. Then, I dropped by Fortnum and Mason and indulged myself in buying some Rose Garden Tea. I thought how perfect this day was going to be: books, tea, relaxation.
There was one more thing that could truly tip the scales and make my day wondrous: cake. Beautiful cake. Cake that was sweet, heavenly and lush. These Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Marshmallow Rose Cream Cheese Frosting ticked all the boxes. Even saying the name makes me smile!
RECIPE: Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Marshmallow Rose Frosting
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Light, fluffy with a hint of champagne and rose
GOES GREAT WITH: A cup of tea in the afternoon: Earl Grey would be perfect. My new favourite tea at the moment is Rose Garden black tea, which is lovely and really brings out the rose in these cupcakes.
NOTES: You need to make the frosting first to give it time to chill in the fridge, so that you get a firmer texture for piping. Due to the marshmallow fluff, the final piping result does relax a little bit, but will still hold its shape. I think it’s worth it though, because the flavour is delicious!
MAKES: 8 standard cupcakes or 16 mini cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 100g (3.5oz) GRANULATED WHITE SUGAR
- 60g (2oz) BUTTER
- 1 EGG
- 1/2 VANILLA BEAN, split in half and seeds scraped out. Discard the husk.
- 105g (3.7oz) PLAIN FLOUR
- 1/2 tsp. BAKING POWDER
- 30g (1oz) SOUR CREAM
- 60ml (2oz) PINK CHAMPAGNE
- 3 drops RED FOOD COLOURING
For the frosting:
- 115g (4oz) CREAM CHEESE
- 30g (1oz) BUTTER
- 60g (2oz) MARSHMALLOW FLUFF
- 230g (8oz) POWDERED SUGAR
- 2 tsp. ROSEWATER, or to taste
- First make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat together with an electric whisk the CREAM CHEESE, BUTTER and MARSHMALLOW FLUFF until combined.
- Keeping the whisk on a low speed, gradually add the POWDERED SUGAR a third at a time until it is smooth and thick.
- Add the ROSEWATER to taste. I would suggest mixing in 1 tsp at a time and then tasting the frosting.
- Decant the frosting into a piping bag and place in the fridge to chill.
- Make the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 180c. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the BUTTER and SUGAR with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
- Add the EGGS and VANILLA SEEDS and whisk.
- Add the SOUR CREAM, PINK CHAMPAGNE and RED FOOD COLOURING. At this stage, your mixture may look a bit chunky. Don’t worry, it’ll come good after you add the dry ingredients.
- With the whisk on a low speed, gradually add the PLAIN FLOUR and BAKING POWDER until it is all combined.
- Fill your cupcake liners, leaving a gap at the top to allow for rise. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes if you are using standard cupcake liners or 11-13 minutes if you are making mini cupcakes.
- Once out of the oven, allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting. Then, pipe swirls on the top of your cupcakes. Leave as they are or garnish with a little something extra. I sprinkled a bit of edible gold dust on mine, but the possibilities are endless. Mini marshmallows would be really cute. Or sugared rose petals?