Pistachio Rose Cupcakes

For Chinese New Year 2017! Small bites of pistachio base and pistachio buttercream or rose buttercream. This was a repeat recipe from my first attempt at pistachio cupcakes here.  The homemade pistachio paste was the best part of this recipe – a little labor intensive yes but worth it! Give it a shot, you’d be surprised at how good the frosting is.

For decorations, I decorated the rose cupcakes with chopped pistachios, and pistachio cupcakes with crushed dried strawberries. The chicken cupcakes were madeby adding a dollop of buttercream on it, smoothening the edges and placing in the fridge to set, then I dipped it in white chocolate, and decorated accordingly with colored white chocolate. Something fun for the Year of the Rooster in 2017!

 

Pistachio Rose Cupcakes
Makes 30 mini cupcakes
Pistachio Rose Cupcakes adapted from Eats Well With Others

Pistachio Cake

1 cup shelled pistachios
2½ cups cake flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar

Pistachio / Rose Buttercream

1 batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe)
Homemade Pistachio praline paste (Pierre Hermes recipe)
Rose extract

To make Pistachio cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 325 deg F. Grease and line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pistachio meat until it is coarsely chopped. Remove 2 tbsp to a small bowl. Pulse the remaining pistachios until they have almost a powder-like consistency. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk together both the roughly chopped and fine pistachios with the all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter in the stand mixer for 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the egg and mix until just combined.

Turn the mixer to low. Pour 1½ cups ice water into a measuring cup. Add the flour/pistachio mix to the batter in three additions, alternating with the ice water, mixing each time until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.

In a medium, clean bowl whisk together the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Flip the cakes out of the pans, onto the rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To assemble

Make a batch of swiss meringue buttercream. Add pistachio praline paste or rose extract to taste. Decorate by piping swirls on each mini cupcake

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