Johannesburg is bleak, brown and black during winter, but little buds are beginning to form and spring is so close I can taste it. Well I wanted to taste it and made these rose water cupcakes to bring a splash of sunshine into a dreary day. I used the Perfect vanilla cupcake recipe on Glorious Treats as a base. In the past I have used Rose essence in baking but it is very hard to find good quality ones and Ludwigs no longer stock the completely natural one which I used in the past. I was not sure if Rose water would be strong enough or work as well but certainly in this instance it was perfect. If you have rose essence you can use it instead
These are topped with a simple glace icing, flavoured with Rose water, if you prefer you can use butter cream flavoured with Rose water
ROSE WATER CUPCAKES (makes 15- 16)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons rose water (or rose essence)
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)
* Preheat oven to 180° C
* In a medium bowl, sieve cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
* In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, beat eggs for 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add rose water and oil, beat for about 1 minute.
* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
* The batter will be thin. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
* Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes.
* Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
For icing, mix 1 cup icing sugar, 1 drop pink colouring and 1.5 tsp rose, slowly add enough water to make it soft enough to spread