Sunday, December 26, 2010

More (Festive) Pink Food - Remember These?

I have now made them twice in seven days.  The first one, last week, I took to some friends.  I used the recipe, remember, here?   From Joytika at Darjeeling Dreams?  Yes.  Ispahan Cupcakes!

Joytika's recipe is VERY BUTTERY.  And it probably would have worked better for me if I had used some excellent quality butter, vs. the kinda greasy own-brand butter I bought from a local grocer who shall go unnamed.  (Oops!) But for me personally, I thought it was a little too heavy - the butter flavor sort of overwhelms the delicacy of the lychee and the rose water and for dietary reasons as well, ideally, I thought I would like to go a  little lighter.  So this weekend, I decided to tweak the recipe a little.  I went to James Beard's classic "American Cookery" cookbook and used the "Old Fashioned Six-Layer Cake" but cut the butter slightly, substituted lychee puree and rose water for the milk, and added an extra egg.  I separated the eggs and added the beaten eggwhites last.  Now this one is growing on me.  It is the tiniest bit eggier tasting than I might ideally like, and it's the tiniest bit chewy, like an angel food, but NOT sugary.  Very subtle instead, and the local raspberries are like a flavor bomb on top (I even used frozen ones and they were EXCELLENT!).  I used Joytika's frosting recipe which I had leftover from last week.  It kept it's flavor and texture perfectly.   It's quite as buttery as the batter recipe but this time, since the cake is so much lighter, the combination was perfect.

So hmmmm.  Not sure I'm done yet.  Maybe a pure angel food cake version?  With a lighter meringuey frosting?  Or something a little closer to the Pierre Herme inspiration.  A light sponge with ground almonds perhaps, like a classic Austrian nut torte.  (To reference the macaroon?)  Or maybe a genoise, which is always dreamy with buttercream.

This might bring some of you to the obvious question:  "Why doesn't Mlle P. just go ahead and make the macaroons?????"

Of course my answer is:  WRONG QUESTION!!!   I don't know, I guess I just wanted a little project, and not quite an obsession.  Which I'm guessing a macaroon recipe would really have to become.

I'm in L.A. anyway, and the air is light, and the light is light, and the colors are pale and we are always watching our WAISTLINES!!!!!  And any minute now I'll want to go OUTSIDE!!!!  So somehow a nice little quick cupcake recipe seems just the right thing.

I'm sorry you can't taste them and tell me which recipe YOU would eat but I would obviously send you any recipe you were interested in  .......

Sooooooo the RIGHT question to be asked at this point would be:  Which PICTURE do you like best? 

And how do you like my Ikea ikat and polka dot cupcake papers?  Have you got some like that?

Oh!  But I almost forgot!!!!!!!  Most important question:  How was your Christmas?


  1. Once again I must say I wished I lived in your street and could be the neighbour you tested your recipes on!
    I quess what I am really wondering is.... when the hell are you going to do a cook book MP? Or... a little magazine ...twice yearly/
    Which photo do I like...well...
    (a) is very lush... looks like I could reach in and grab one - what a tease you are!
    (b) is that really your tree?
    (c) LOVE those paper cup cake thingis... this is a FUN photo!!!
    (d) adorable
    (e) all of the above!
    Best thing at our christmas ...trying put the new Penguin Books bookchase board game... lots of fun!
    keep cooking MP!

  2. These look delicious! I'm very impressed by your ability to 'tweak' recipes - when I bake I have to follow the recipe to the letter or things go horribly wrong! I like your ikat and polka dot papers very much & photo one is my favourite (the raspberries & frosting look so tantalising!).
    Christmas was very quiet (and therefore very good) - hope yours was fun too!

  3. They look SO delicious, Paradis! I hope you're having a wonderful holiday! :-)

  4. il y a 2 jours j'ai vu une émission TV avec Pierre Hermé qui présentait la recette d'une bûche au chocolat au lait et aux fruits de la passion ... je crois que je vais tester !!
    Tes cupcakes ont l'air aussi vraiment appétissants !!

  5. I want some of those pink little cakes! I love the first and the last photo because ... just because I guess :^)

    Christmas was very nice...and if I forgot to mention along the way, Merry (belated) CHRISTMAS to you and your family! - xo