Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ispahan Cupcakes and the Erie Canal

Summer is drawing to a close.  I know probably a lot of children have headed back to school already.  Mine start next week.  It is kind of a bittersweet time for me.  I am happy to see them grow and sad at the same time.  I am happy to have had a beautiful, happy summer but am also glad that I will have a wee bit of free time to clean, paint, create, what have you.  I try to hug my children even more than I did before because as time goes by, I realize how fast it truly is going. My oldest daughter is nearly eight.  Yesterday she was a baby.  I don't know how it exactly happened but she grew so fast. Taking a moment now and then is so important to do because they are fleeting.

I have learned to breathe better this summer.  To take a moment now and then through the day and just take a breath, deeply.  Savoring, relaxing, and feeling.  It has been truly eye opening.  So simple and so precious. 

Here is a trip we recently took down the Erie Canal.

Here is a song about the Erie Canal

A bit of summer fruit here. I just had to try Ispahan cupcakes.  The flavor combination of lychee, rose and raspberry piqued my interest.  Rose and lavender are not big attractions for me in flavor because of the "fragrant" taste they leave in your mouth.  Once in a while, however, I like to indulge in something with rose or lavender.  Like these marshmallows or these lemon lavender tarts.

Ispahan Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
 2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup milk
1/4 rose water
1 teaspoon vanilla or rose essence

lychees (about 24), I used canned ones that I rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and mix in until fully incorporated. Combine flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder. In a large measuring cup combine milk, rose water and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients and milk mixture into butter and eggs alternately, ending with the flour.

Spoon in about a tablespoon of batter into each cupcake paper.  Drop a lychee on the batter  and fill up the muffin cups the rest of the way about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Raspberry Cream Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp a little on the firm side
8 ounces or one package cream cheese, room temp
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup raspberry puree that has been deseeded

Beat cream cheese and butter together.  Add in sugar until fully incorporated,  Finally, fold in raspberry puree.


Ingrid said...

Did ya like 'em, Lori?

I hear ya. Mine started school almost four weeks ago. I now have twin high schoolers AND babygirl has moved into middle school!

Dandy said...

Interesting! I'm hesitant to use rose for the same reason and I'm not even a fan of rose as a scent but this recipe sound really good. I love ground almonds.

natalia said...

Ciao Lori ! Mine start in a week also ! The cupcakes look so good and peculiar I want to try them !!!

grace said...

rose water? no idea what it tastes like. lychees? same story. these are clearly delicate and delightful little cakes though--lovely work!

Lori said...

Ingrid- in fact I did like them. And oh my, I cant imagine the day. I worry so much. It seems the more the years roll on the mroe cause for worry.

Dandy- So funny I don't like rose as a fragrance either. I did not have rose essence but I listed it here because really it could have had more rose flavor. The combination of flavors works well together.

Ciao Natalia.

Grace- I bought the lychees canned at the Asian store. I was wondering what they would taste like. I try to do that epriodically- try some interesting fruit or vegetable.

Anncoo said...

This is very beautiful cupcakes. I prefer the vanilla essence than the rose essence.

Megan said...

Hold them and hug them close now, cuz when they become teenagers, you want to strangle them. I believe it's God's way of making it easier to let them go in a few short years.
These cupcakes sound interesting. I have so much almond meal in the freezer, I may just have to try these one days!

Chef Dennis said...

those cupcakes sound delicious!! lychee is such a nice touch, and that raspberry frosting is calling to me!
This summer really flew by, my wife is already at school, my girls start tuesday!

vanillasugar said...

have i been to the erie canal? oh gosh i can't remember. isn't that bad.
i haven't had much luck using rose, so strong you know?

shaz said...

Gorgeous colours and the flavour combo of lychees and rose is a winner. I quite like rosewater although I think it's a cultural thing, rose is a flavour I grew up with. Lavender on the other hand makes me think of soap!

I hear you loud and clear on the time flying business, my eldests little girl is almost 8 too!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

These sound mouth wateringly good. I'm tempted...