By Shuangi Tseng
Over the last couple of years the world seems to have gone cupcake crazy, and the trend shows no sign of abating. People now attend cupcake decorating parties, while insatiable customers scoff cupcakes in colours that would make Joseph’s amazing technicolour dreamcoat look dull. Here in Taipei the number of bakeries and cafes specialising in cupcakes has mushroomed (perhaps we should say ‘muffined’?), and apparently there’s no shortage of very enthusiastic customers. To many non-experts, cupcakes can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a muffin, and there is a heated debate surrounding this very controversial subject. Until the United Nations settles the matter by establishing an international body to police the boundary between these two baked goods, Love Taipei’s own cupcake definition is as follows: a small, sweet cake that fits inside a tea cup, is eaten as a dessert, and is often covered with icing or another form of decoration.
The commercialisation of cupcakes has disguised this little dessert’s simplicity and the relative ease with which we can all have a go at creating our own. Below we have put together a recipe called ‘Cupcake Romance’, which makes creative use of rose petals, marshmallow, and Nutella, and the cupcakes can be used either as a base for further decoration, or as the finished item. They looked so tasty when they came out of the oven that we opted for the latter option.
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
- Rose petals
- 115 grammes of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 ¼ cups of brown sugar
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- ¾ cup of self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup of milk (whole, semi, or skimmed as per your taste)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A handful of your favorite chocolate chips or truffles
- 1 teaspoon of Nutella
- Beat the butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 mins)
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until they are well mixed.
- Place all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder) together into a small bowl.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mix.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract.
- Add a spoonful of Nutella.
- Scoop the batter into individual cake cups, making one lower layer. Add a second, middle layer with the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and rose petals. Cover this with a third, final layer of the chocolate batter.
- Bake for 22 minutes on a 200 degree (Celsius) heat.
- Whip the finished goods out of the oven and, once they’ve cooled down, decorate your cupcake as per your preference. Don’t forget that a sprinkle of icing sugar looks great, especially with the contrast between dark and light that chocolate provides.
We hope this recipe produces the same delicious results it did for us. Please feel free to let us know how it goes.