Well that title is a bit of a mouthful. But then a cupcake with a mouthful of a title is just what is in order to celebrate the fact that it is finally spring. Not that you'd guess it by THE SNOW THAT FELL ON MY HEAD THREE DAYS AGO. What IS this London?
Sorry, this was meant to be a positive post. A yay! for finally finding a vegan chocolate cake recipe that ticks all the boxes, a yay!! for all the beautiful blossoms starting to peek their little heads out and a yay!!! for officially living here for an entire year.
Yep, all the seasons have come and gone once before and I can now be prepared for anything London throws at me. 10pm Sunsets? Ain't no thang. A grand total of 3 days of summer in a year? Italy, booked. Snow falling in March? Heattech for lyfe. Approximately $7 AUD for a coffee? I laugh in the face of money.
What is this eating magnolia petals you ask? It's a thing and you should do it! Magnolia tastes a bit like ginger, a bit like lemongrass and has a 'floralness' similar to lavender. Go chomp on some and you'll see what I mean. Like those ingredients it's quite strong, so be sure to use sparingly.
For this foray, I decided on candying by means of holding on to the flavour longer than the season would have originally intended and the result, when mixed through with tangy freeze dried raspberries, marries perfectly with the rich, bitterness of dark chocolate. Enter these cupcakes and what's that? You got yourself some celebratory spring cupcakes with a mouthful of a title!
Crystallized Magnolia Potpourri
Gently remove the petals of the magnolia flowers, discarding the stamen and stalks.
Pour sugar and water into a saucepan or pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has melted.
Add the petals and keep stirring until the sugar syrup seizes up and crystallize. Don't be too precious with the flowers, as they'll definitely wilt and bruise, but try to separate them as much as you can so that you don't end up with one big ball at the end.
Once crystallized, you can chop up the petals and combine with freeze dried berries and dried flowers in a bowl, ready for sprankling.
about 3 young, unopened magnolia blossoms
¼ cup sugar
2 tbs water
freeze dried berries
cake recipe rejigged ever so slightly from here
Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.
Add all wet ingredients and mix until smooth and lump free.
Bake in a greased muffin tray for 10-15 mins at 180°C.
Cool slightly before taking out of the pan and setting aside while making the ganache.
To make the ganache, chop chocolate finely and combine with the coconut cream and coconut oil in a bain marie over low heat.
Take off the heat before the chocolate has melted fully, add salt and whisk until smooth and shiny.
1 ½ cups plain flour
½ cup demerara sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla essence/paste)
pinch of salt
½ cup water
1 tbs vinegar
½ cup strong coffee
⅓ cup vegetable oil
For the chocolate ganache:
150g dark chocolate
3 tbs coconut cream, whisked lightly
1 tsp coconut oil
sprinkle of sea salt
PS. This is my friend Holly modelling. She's bangin. And her flat has the best light.