Pistachio syrup cake

I REMEMBER watching Masterchef a few years ago and in one of the master classes, Lorraine Pascale made a cake and brushed it with syrup.
It’s something I started doing to from time to time and it keeps them deliciously moist.
This recipe takes it a step further and the result is equally scrummy. The tip is to make sure you don’t flood your cake with too much syrup as it will make it soggy. You can experiment with some other flavours too if you wish, but the rosewater, cherry and pistachio combination is subtle and refined, perfect for an afternoon tea or dessert.

Pistachio syrup cake Photo Nicole Fuge / Sunshine Coast Daily


Ingredients

1 ½ cups self raising flour
4 eggs
4 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
150g cherry jam
2 tablespoons milk
30g pistachios
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons rosewater

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a medium cake tin with baking paper.
In a small saucepan, heat the water, rosewater and 2 tablespoons of the agave syrup or honey until dissolved. Allow to simmer to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, put the self raising flour, eggs, 2 tablespoons or agave syrup or honey and milk and stir until well combined. Gently stir in the jam until it’s combined, but the mixture is still marbled.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle the pistachios on top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and springy to touch.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and put onto a wire rack.
This next part can be a bit messy, so put a sheet of baking paper under the wire rack to catch any syrup. Take the rosewater syrup and spoon over the cake, make sure you get all of the cake but don’t soak it. You don’t have to use all of the syrup. Allow to cool before cutting to serve.

Fruit jewel cupcakes

THESE little beauties are topped with delicious super foods to make you feel a little less guilty.
Not only does the fruit provide an element of freshness to the cupcakes, the pistachios add a little crunch to please the palate.
I just love these cupcakes because they’re really quick and easy to make, taste great and look gorgeous when presented on a plate all together.
You could have a play around with different berry combinations and also different frosting flavours, just make sure you use fresh berries rather than frozen. While I’m a huge fan of using frozen fruit, the juice will streak your frosting and you won’t be left with a clean look.
Because you only need a couple of berries for each cupcake, you’ll only need about a quarter of a punnet for a dozen cupcakes.

Fruit jewel cupcakes.

Ingredients
90g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
190g vegetable shortening (or butter)
400g icing sugar
40ml water (or milk)
Rosewater essence to taste
Crushed pistachios for decoration
Fresh blueberries for decoration
Fresh raspberries for decoration
Dried rose petals for decoration

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and place 12 patty cases into a cupcake tin.
Put the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, milk and vanilla essence into a bowl and mix with an electric beater until ingredients are well combined.
Spoon the batter into the patty cases and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden and springy to touch. Turn the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the rosewater buttercream frosting, cream the vegetable shortening (or butter) with an electric mixer until it becomes light and white, then add the sifted icing sugar, water (or milk) and rosewater essence to taste. Mix until well combined.
Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the crushed pistachios, and decorate with berries and rose petals.

vanilla musk mini cupcakes

Everyone loves red velvet cupcakes right? Well what if you created something that looked like red velvet but tasted like something else delicious?
I’d been wanting to play around with colouring cakes since I made red velvet cupcakes and thought this would be a fun idea.
The frosting was flavoured with musk essence and the cupcakes are vanilla. You can flavour the cupcake batter if you wish but I find when you’re baking something the flavour fades, whereas it stays fresh and vibrant in frosting – this is a helpful thing to remember when making macaroons too, I always flavour the filling rather than the macaroon shells. But you can have a play around and do whatever works best for you.
So when I put these little beauties down, I got the reaction I wanted, “Are these red velvet?”
As everyone tucked in, they looked at me in surprise as they tasted the musk and were expecting a red velvet flavour.
It’s nice to surprise people with your cooking, that’s something I’ve learnt while watching endless cooking shows on television. Cooking elevates the senses, why not throw a tasty spanner in the works?

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Ingredients
90g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
190g vegetable shortening
400g icing sugar
40ml water
musk essence
pink food colouring

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and place 24 mini patty cases into a cupcake tin.
Put the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, milk and vanilla essence into a bowl and mix with an electric beater until ingredients are well combined. Add in some food colouring until you get the desired colour.
Spoon the batter into the patty cases and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Turn the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the buttercream frosting, cream the vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until it becomes light and white, then add the sifted icing sugar, water and musk essence to taste. Mix until well combined.
Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate.