Recipes – Cupcake Romance

Cupcake Romance

Our ‘Cupcake Romance’ recipe will help you produce sweet treats that delight your loved ones.

Cupcake Romance

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.

Cupcake romance - whisking eggs

Whisking the egg, butter, and sugar mix.

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.

Flour with sieve cupcake romance

Putting the flour through a sieve removes any lumps and makes mixing easier.

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
  • Marshmallows
Cupcake Romance 2

There are many ways to decorate a cupcake, and the idea behind ‘Cupcake Romance’ is to use the rose’s elegance and beauty to create an eye-catching result.

The Baking

  1. Beat the butter until softened.  Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 mins)
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until they are well mixed.
  3. Place all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder) together into a small bowl.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mix.
  5. Add the milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add a spoonful of Nutella.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes on a 200 degree (Celsius) heat.
  9. 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.

  • Cupcake Romance 2
  • Cupcake Romance
  • Baking Soda
  • Whisking Eggs
  • Flour - Sieve
  • Cupcake Romance Featured Photo

Recipes – Fruit Feast Pancakes

Fruit Feast Pancakes

By Shuangi Tseng

Simple to make, filling, and delicious: pancakes are a popular start to the day for millions of people around the world every morning. While a lot of recipes focus on the pancakes themselves, what really makes the difference between a world-beating pancake and a run-of-the-mill breakfast filler is the topping. After a drizzle of chocolate sauce here, or a generous helping of maple syrup there, the creativity tends to stop and the job of eating begins. We’ve come up with a recipe for fruit pancakes that will liven up your breakfast and tantalise your tastebuds, as well as getting your day off to a healthy, vitamin-rich start.

Fruit Pancakes Feast

Lashings of goodness: cinnamon apple, pomegranate, banana, and kiwi, with homemade coffee syrup make the perfect pancake topping.

With a focus on fruit, this recipe contains ingredients that are easy to obtain almost anywhere in Taipei. Besides the pancakes themselves, the cinnamon apple and syrup are the only components of the dish that require any effort beyond cutting or peeling and as such this is a recipe at which anyone can try their hand. The recipe results in a rich palette of colours, with the warm yellows and browns of the pancakes, banana, cinnamon apple and coffee syrup, the feisty pink-red of the pomegranate, and the soothing green of the kiwi. A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!

Ingredients (feeds two)

Fruit: One banana, one peeled apple, half a pomegranate, one kiwi fruit.

Cinnamon & syrup: Cinnamon powder, one cup of freshly-brewed coffee (espresso works best), two cups of brown sugar.

Pancakes: One cup of all-purpose flour, two tablespoons of baking powder,

  • Fruit Feast Pancakes

Recipes – East Meets West

Welcome to the first post of what will be Love Taipei’s regular cookery column. If you’re a fanatical foodie, a greedy gourmand, or just plain hungry, we think you’ll enjoy these recipes. All recipes published on here have been cooked for, and devoured by, Love Taipei guinea pigs and all ingredients are readily available in Taipei.

East Meets West – A Fish-Lover’s Feast

By Shuangi Tseng

Taipei is a cosmopolitan place, and cooking dinners that satisfy everyone isn’t easy. If you’ve got guests from different corners of the globe then one solution is to attempt to make ‘fusion food’, which basically combines elements from two or more cuisines either into a single dish or across a whole menu. Fusion food can often result in disaster, however, and if you’re experimenting with your own fusion recipe then it may be best to try it out on a sympathetic friend first before launching it on the dinner-party stage.

The recipe below is one example of an attempt at fusion food, and we’re pleased to say that it turned out very well. Taking Italian and Japanese cuisine as its two elements of inspiration, this menu has a strong focus on fish, freshness, and clean, subtle flavours. Some of the ingredients might be tough to find at your local neighbourhood supermarket -the sesame dressing, arugula, and blue cheese, for example – but large department store supermarkets stock everything you need (albeit at a price). This is also a very visual menu with some very intense colours, which makes for great presentation.

Appetiser – sesame tuna salad on cucumber.

Sesame tuna salad on cucumber base

Ingredients: One can of tuna, white sesame seeds, sesame dressing (Japanese style), sesame oil, Japanese soy sauce, cucumber (large), arugula, Danish Blue cheese.

1. Stripe the cucumber skin using a peeler, and then slice the cucumber into segments around 1cm thick.
2. Mix the tuna with sesame oil (1 tablespoon), Japanese soy sauce (2 tablespoons), and deep-roasted sesame dressing (3 tablespoons).
3. Layer as follows: Cucumber (base), arugula, blue cheese, and tuna salad. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Starter – sashimi seaweed salad

Sashimi seaweed salad

Ingredients: Fresh tuna and salmon sashimi, two different kinds of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, sesame oil, Japanese soy sauce, sesame dressing, wasabi.

1. Soak the dried seaweed in cold water for five minutes.
2. Mix the salad dressing: sesame oil (1 tablespoon), sesame dressing (4 tablespoons), Japanese soy sauce (4 tablespoons).
3. Drain the seaweed and mix it thoroughly with the dressing.
4. Place two slices of sashimi per serving on top of the seaweed salad, brush the fish with soy sauce and add a pinch of wasabi on top.

Main course – salmon steak with smoked salmon risotto

Main Course
Salmon steak with smoked salmon risotto

Ingredients: Risotto rice, 250 grams of smoked salmon, one small head of garlic, salmon roe, full-cream, milk, vintage cheddar cheese, salmon steak, seafood soup stock.

1. Dice the garlic and fry with olive oil on medium heat for one minute.
2. Pan-fry the salmon steak. For a medium-cooked steak, two minutes for each side of the steak is fine. Please adjust the time according to the size of your steak.
3. Take the pan containing your diced garlic fried in olive oil, add risotto rice and seafood stock, and cook for 20mins. Add a little more water whenever it looks like the risotto is becoming dry.
4. Add the smoked salmon, cheddar cheese, and cream. Stir on a low heat for roughly ten minutes.
5. Place the salmon steak on top of the risotto rice, and sprinkle some salmon roe on the surface of the risotto for extra flavour and effect.

Dessert – cheese and chocolate

It’s all about the flavours…

Ingredients: Blue cheese, Parmesan cheese, grapes, and rich chocolate (continuing the Japanese theme, Royce do a chocolate which is perfect for this dessert).

1. Place a small amount of each item on a plate and hey presto!

Whether you’re going to be cooking this yourself or you’re lucky enough to be someone else’s taster, we hope you enjoy this menu.

  • Appetiser - Sesame Tuna Salad on Cucumber
  • Starter - Sashimi Seaweed Salad
  • Starter - Cold Noodles
  • Main - Salmon Steak with Smoked Salmon Risotto
  • Dessert - Cheese & Chocolate