Friday, December 23, 2011
strawberry sakura clear water sponge cupcakes.
I think sakura is one of the most prettiest flowers in the world. I've always wanted to see them for real but the timing is never right. And after seeing some bloggers like she who eats bake with them, I wanted to make a cake, cookie, whatever with sakura too. So I had to get my hands on some sakura, and I managed to find a small pink packet while browsing through a supermarket in Japan.
They came salted, preserved. I had to wash off the salt with boiling water before I used them for anything. Once they hit the hot water, it turned a light pink. And then I dried them on a paper towel, I could smell them. Slightly floral and something else. I couldn't define it.
I wondered what I should bake with them. I didn't know what went well with sakura. So I used the colour scheme as a starting point and paired the flower with a strawberry cream as a frosting. But frosting must come with cake, no matter how redundant it may seem at times.
No dainty delicate flower could be associated with something like deep dark chocolate so I decided to go the lighter route- with a sponge cake. I'd chanced upon a pretty promising recipe a few months ago and it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out.
I baked the cupcakes, cooled them, hid a small teaspoonful of strawberry jam in the middle, swirled frosting over and around it, then arranged a petal of sakura on top. It's the very kind of cupcake you would hold in one hand, paper liner halfway peeled down, while pinching off tiny bites with delicate fingers. You would be reclining in a chair, feet up, licking the fruity cream off the tips of your fingernails.
I loved the sponge cake. It wasn't just a vehicle for the cream and sakura. It was part of the whole ensemble. Soft, fluffy, spongey- like a marshmallow in cake form. It's a little eggy so if you can't stand that sort of taste, add a bit of vanilla extract to the batter. By the way, the cake will fall after it comes out of the oven but don't worry, it's supposed to be that way.
I didn't make the cream, I kinda poached it from my mum and it complemented the cake nicely. Surprisingly, the sakura was still a tad salty. I should have soaked it longer. It didn't have much taste but it smelled nice. A bit of a disappointment, sadly. Ah well, it makes for a nice decoration.
Clear Water Sponge Cupcakes
recipe adapted from The Little Teochew
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
50ml corn oil
50g cake flour
3 egg whites
Beat (A) till combined. Sift in (B) and mix just until the flour has dissolved.
Whisk (C) until frothy, add in (D) and beat till stiff peaks.
Fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture in 3 additions until well combined. Be careful not to deflate any air. Spoon the batter into paper cups until 60% full.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150C for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.