Welcome back readers! It’s Springtime in Nova Scotia! (Which also means my cooking is becoming significantly more interesting with fresh veggies, and it’s easier for me to get out and around to do some food tourism for this blog!) So, as a nod to my first blog post about the Seafoam Lavender Farm almost a year ago, here is my first blog posting for 2014: Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes as written and illustrated by Sarah O’Connell.
I first came across this recipe on Facebook on my friend Shea’s page (who has a fantastic food blog called “A Year of Plenty”) and knew right away that I wanted to try this recipe! The recipe for the cupcakes comes from The illustrations on the recipe itself are so pretty, it made baking these cupcakes way more fun that just using a regular recipe (which, coincidentally, is the whole reason behind the website this recipe was posted on, entitled “They Draw & Cook”–check it out!)
In my cupcakes, I used the Lavender Culinary Buds I bought last summer on my trip to the Seafoam Lavender Farm. The recipe says to crush the buds, but seeing as how I don’t have a good way to grind my herbs, I used the good ol’ fashioned plastic bag and rolling pin method. The buds were sort of crushed, but not really broken down. They did still seem to blend well in the creamed butter and sugar…
I chose to bake the cupcakes in these cute little blue and white polka dot tin liners Nicole had kicking around her house–they were a little too big for the tins, but they turned out all right in the end!
After allowing the cupcakes to cool, I iced them with just a plain vanilla butter icing. If I’d had some little purple sprinkles around, I would have added a touch to each cake (I just really wanted to eat cupcakes like in the illustration, I admit!) to make them just a little prettier.
The recipe itself suggested decorating each iced cupcake with lavender. I think this only would have looked pretty if there were fresh cut spring of lavender on each cake. Also, I found that there was just enough lavender taste in my mouth from the cupcakes themselves–I’m not sure I would have wanted any more lavender flavouring on my desserts.
All in all, I found this to be such a beautiful and easy recipe to work with. My cupcakes came out peaked and fluffy (and trust me, I am not an expert when it comes to making that happen!), and the somewhat crushed lavender buds didn’t seem to overpower the chocolate flavour (so I didn’t feel bad about not grinding them). I would totally throw a tea party with these cupcakes someday! As it is, I think Nicole and I will divvy up the spoils ourselves…
Happy baking! xo Penny