Baking · Cake · Cupcakes · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Turkey: Turkish Delight Cupcakes

Flag of Turkey.

Today I’m presenting you with a new and improved version of one of the most popular cakes on this site so far, the Turkish delight cupcakes. These have without a doubt been the most raved about, most regularly made and the most searched out of the whole site, and I’m pleased to be able to give you an updated version of the recipe with some better photographs! (Always helps!) Enjoy, and if you make them, let me know what you think!

Turkish Delight Cupcake 2

I’ve added a chocolate-covered coffee bean to the decoration of these which I feel works very well as a flavour contrast, however if you cannot get your hands on them, feel free to leave them out. Do not leave out the pomegranate seeds though, they provide a sharp contrast to the sweetness of the buttercream which is essential to the overall balance of the cake.

Turkish Delight Cupcake 1

Ingredients

Cake

  • 8oz butter
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 6oz ground pistachios
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 6 pieces rose Turkish Delight, cut in half

Rose Buttercream

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 25ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 drop of red food colouring
  • Chocolate coffee bean and pomegranate seeds to decorate

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and place cupcake liners in 2 12-hole cake tins (you will likely use 18 of the 24).

Beat the butter and sugar together before adding the eggs and vanilla essence. Mix in the flour, baking powder and ground pistachios and combine gently. Place a teaspoon of the mixture  into the cupcake cases  and place a piece of Turkish delight into each case. Cover with the remaining mixture and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Once the cakes have completely cooled, make the buttercream by beating together the butter and icing sugar, before adding the milk and rosewater and beating for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Add the red food colouring drop by drop, mixing after each addition until a light rose pink colour is achieved. Pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cupcakes and decorate with pomegranate seeds and a chocolate coffee bean..

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Baking · Cake Decorating · Cupcakes · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge · Sugar Flowers

Estonia: Rhubarb, Rose and Cardamom Cupcakes

Flag of Estonia

The development of a national cuisine is an ever-changing process. It is affected by many things, from global climate issues to historical events, all of which can drastically change the food that is eaten by a national people. Estonia is a clear example of this; the elimination of much of the culinary leaders during the USSR annexation of 1940 resulted in a country viewing food simply as a way of survival. Food was scarce, both the variety of foods available, but also the amount of food. The many restaurants were either shut down completely or reopened, providing Soviet cuisine. As a result, traditional Estonian food became less and less usual. Alongside this ran an influx of new culinary influences through the many displaced immigrants from other eastern Europen countries, who all played their part in adding a great amount of diversity to the existing culinary minds. After the annexation, Estonians took advantage of the diversity in ingredients, fusing traditional ideas with new concepts, brought in from countries all over Europe. The existing meat-and-potato based cuisine has been extended to include more uncommon fruits and vegetables and as a result to develop a tradition of food which is far more exciting than was previously available.

Estonia Cake Final 2

This recipe makes use of rhubarb, the lovely deep pink stems of which are seen in many Estonian gardens. A very popular cake in Estonia contains rhubarb and cardamom, so I combined these two flavours with hint of ginger and a dash of rosewater to create a cake which takes traditional Estonian flavours and brings them forward into a decidedly modern cupcake.

Estonia Cake final 1

Rhubarb, Rose and Cardamon Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz butter
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 25 cardamon pods, seeds removed OR 1 ts ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 8 sticks of rhubarb
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 10ml cup water
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 80g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 drops red food colouring
  • decorations of your choice

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, and line 2 12-hole bun tins with bun cases. Set aside for later.

Cream together the butter and sugar, before beating in the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla, cardamon and ginger and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the bun cases and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the  rhubarb filling. Cutthe sticks of rhubarb into small pieces and place in a small pan with the water and sugar. Cook on a medium heat until the rhubarb is falling apart and the mixture is thick, gloopy and sticky. Remove from the heat and strain 4 tablespoons of the mixture through a sieve to produce a pink syrup. Set this syrup aside for later. Leave the remainder of the compote to cool completely

Use a cupcake corer or a small knife to remove a small section from the middle of each cupcake. Fill this hole with the rhubarb compote made earlier. Set aside. Make the buttercream by beating the butter, icing sugar, rosewater and the rhubarb syrup until the mixture is thick and fluffy (about 5 minutes) Add a few drops of red food colouring to create a pink icing. Spoon this in the piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe onto the top of the cupcake. Decorate with sugarpaste flowers or other decorations of your choice.

Baking · Cupcakes · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Turkey: Pistachio Turkish Delight Cake with Rose Buttercream

Flag of Turkey.

Today I am going to use a phrase that I reserve for truly special cakes – Amazing! Make this cake. Do it, preferably soon. It’s that good!

I love Turkish food, although sadly I don’t eat as much of it as I would like. One of my favourite meals was a Turkish mezze plate, eaten in a small restaurant/takeaway in Berlin (in which Turkish food is the second most popular cuisine.) Sadly there is not as much opportunity to experience this where I live, so at the moment I am excitedly planning a trip to Istambul to get my fix.

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When I started planning this cake, I started looking at baklava, particularly as this cake is an archetype of Turkish Cuisine. However, baklava (whilst delicious) is not in itself a cake, and therefore did not fit the brief as well as it could. I therefore decided to take the flavours of baklava and adapt them into a cake form. The filling was an easy decision, I love the combination of rose and pistachio, and Turkish delight seemed a natural partnership. I made this into cupcakes, as a good way to incorporate the filling equally, but you could also use this mixture to make a full size cake – just chop up the Turkish Delight, and mix into the cake batter before baking.

DSC_0584

The Turkish delight in the cake was a stab in the dark, having no idea whether or not you could bake Turkish delight into a cake. It turns out that you can, and it actually does not change the taste at all. I cheated and used shop-bought (though good quality) Turkish delight, however, homemade would also work well if wished.

DSC_0586

The cake recipe is a simple whisked sponge recipe, with ground pistachios substituted for part of the flour. The buttercream frosting is taken from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. The cakes are decorated with pomegranate seeds, both to support the Turkish influence and also because I think they look gorgeous! I also used gold shimmer spray, for no really reason apart from the excitement about spraying cupcakes gold…

Pistachio-Turkish Delight Cake with Rose Buttercream

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 8 oz plain flour
  • 6 oz ground pistachios
  • 12 oz butter
  • 12 oz caster sugar
  • 4.5 tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Turkish Delight Layer:

  • 375g caster sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 25g gelatine powder
  • 100g cornflower
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tsp rosewater
  • 50g shelled pistachios
  • 2 drops red food colouring

Rose Buttercream

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 25ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 drop of red food colouring.

To decorate:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Pistachios

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and grease an 8″ cake tin. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together before adding the eggs and vanilla essence. Mix in the flour, baking powder and ground pistachios. and combine gently. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin.

To make the Turkish delight, oil the same cake tin used for the cake (obviously after cleaning!) and line with cling film. Heat the sugar and lemon juice in a pan with 300ml of water until the sugar dissolves. At this point gently bring the mixture to the boil. Mix the gelatine with 75g of cornflour and 200ml of water before adding to the pan. Stir constantly to dissolve the gelatine, before simmering gently for 20 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the rosewater, food colouring and chopped pistachios. Mix the remaining cornflower and icing sugar and dust the prepared tin with the mixture, shaking out any of the excess. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread level, before allowing to set for at least 4 hours.

Make the buttercream by beating the icing sugar and butter on a low setting until well mixed. Add the milk and rosewater a little at a time, before adding the food colouring. Beat the mixture on high for at least 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

To construct the cake, firstly split the cake into three layers. Spread the first layer with butter cream before placing the second layer on top. Place the layer of Turkish delight onto the cake, using a small amount of buttercream to hold it in place if needed. Place the final layer of cake on top, and spread with the remaining buttercream. Decorate with pomegranate seeds, pistachios and Turkish delight.