Rose Cupcakes with Light Raspberry Cream and Raspberry Jam Filling
I've been longing to bake rose flavoured desserts for the longest time, but I couldn't find anyplace in Korea that sells rosewater. So when I was in Australia, a bottle of rosewater was at the top of my to buy list. It was around 2005 when I started to hear about baking with rose flavour. I was really hesitant in trying or tasting it at first because the thought of flowery food doesn't appeal to me at all. I eventually had my first glimpse of how beautiful rose flavour tasted like around 2006; it was during a buffet dinner with my family, and part of their dessert spread was a rose flavoured ice cream. I really contemplated long and hard if I would have a taste or not. Alas I did, and I was surprised on how good rose actually tasted like. So that was that.
2009 was when I officially had my love affair with rose. It was my sister J who was behind it all; she was raving about Laduree's Ispahan so much that she even bought me one as a surprise for me to indulge. My oh my, she was right! It completely blew me away. Pierre Herme's such a genius for creating a perfect harmony between rose, raspberry and lychee.
"So why rose cupcakes as the first rose dessert project?", you might wonder. Well it's simple. When I was in Australia, my Aunt R's neighbour J lent me her Planet Cake Cupcakes book by Paris Cutler, and that book inspired me enormously. There was a design in the book that I absolutely adore; it was the babies in animal suits design. I was so amused by the design that I swiftly decided to make them as soon as I got the chance. So I hit two birds with one stone... Bake with rosewater: done! Make the cute babies in animal suits: done!
Babies in Animal Suits from Planet Cake Cupcakes by Paris Cutler
It took me a day and a half to finish this project. Why? Number one, because I had to alternately do household duties and baking. Number two, I only have primary coloured food colouring. It was hard work mixing colours and getting to the right shade. Good thing my sister J was there to help me with the colour development stage! I also decided to cover the entire cupcake with fondant instead of just covering the top, which wasn't a good idea. It was too much of a fondant for a cup-sized cake. Note to self: follow what the book says! Everyone at home found the babies too cute to eat, so I got a knife and sliced each baby in half. I know it sounds brutal, but there's a lovely blush of cake that's waiting to be admired too!
I also decided to make my own design for the rose cupcakes. I wanted something that is more 'rose related'. With much thinking, I ended up going for bugs theme. It's not as adorable as the babies, but it's my own design, so I'm absolutely delighted by them too.
This project required a lot of manual labour, but was all well worth it. It made everyone at home giddy by just looking at the cuteness that was all over the cupcakes. At the same time, everyone merrily tucked in into the scrumptious rose cupcakes.