Rose Cupcakes

Rose Cupcakes with White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
These cupcakes start with a distinguished vanilla flavor, but finish on a very floral note. The rose water really adds more of a scent than a taste, but the presence is unmistakable. I sprinkled my cupcakes with chopped pistachios and topped them with handmade gumpaste roses.

Rose Cupcakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c (156 g) flour
6 Tbls (85 g) butter, room temp
3/4 c (149 g) sugar
2 egg whites, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp rose water
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 c (118 ml) half and half, microwaved for 20 seconds to warm slightly

Preheat oven to 350F (275 ml) and line a cupcake tin.

Sift together salt, baking powder and flour and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add whites one at a time, beating well until each is fully incorporated. Add vanilla, rose water, and vanilla bean. Now add the 1/4 c of the milk, mix well, then sift in half of the flour mixture, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and mixing just until combined. Add the remaining milk, then the remaining flour mixture, and spoon into liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Makes about 12 regular size cupcakes or 16 small souffle size cakes. Oh, and if you use the disposable souffle cups, make sure you cut a small slit in the rim of the cup so your guests will be able to easily remove them from the cakes.

White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Please click here for a step-by-step guide to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream and troubleshooting tips!

1 c (199 g) sugar
5 egg whites
18 tbls (256 g) unsalted butter, softened slightly and sliced
1/4 c white chocolate, melted and cooled

Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it's completely smooth, it's done). Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp. Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. The buttercream may turn into a soupy curdled mess, but I assure you it will be ok; just beat it for a few minutes longer. It'll come together! When the buttercream has reached the ideal consistency, add the melted and cooled white chocolate carefully. Try not to get any on the walls of the bowl as it will cool and harden there. Whip to incorporate.
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