Spring Love: Flower Gem Cupcakes

“The earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Like a secret, rarely made treat, the so called “white cake” does not sound as an old recipe, it seems rather modern and fresh… When made, it is elegant and ladylike. Making this peculiarly white and light sponge lacks any fanciful technique, yet it is quite remarkable…Until I have found it in my late grandmother’s old handwritten recipe book, I associated her with heavier dessert but this is soft as a feather.
The white cake is a the perfect lover of the spring bloomers…Fresh flowers can be employed in a number of ways in cake making and decorating, from delicate flavour enhancing, through being garnishes to all-out cake-topper flower arrangements…But why not to have it at all levels…

“A weed is but an unloved flower.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox

For the cakes
4 eggwhites, 120 g sugar, a pinch of salt, 10 g chopped walnuts, 10 g fruit gummies, chopped, 10 g chopped chocolate chips, 80 g flour, 4 g baking powder
For the frosting
150 ml coconut milk, 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract, 50 g of caster sugar, 30 g of cornflour, 150 g dairy free spread, 50 g shredded coconut
For the jelly gems
200 ml elderflower cordial, 20 g gelatin powder, ox eye daisy flowers

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks. Mix the rest of the ingredients, then fold into the eggwhites gently. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup nearly full. Bake in preheated oven 18 – 20 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely then pipe frosting over cupcakes.

To make the frosting bring the milk and vanilla to the boil in a saucepan then remove from the heat. Mix the sugar and flour together until thoroughly incorporated. Pour 1/3 of the warmed milk over the flour mixture and whisk vigorously. Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the milk and continue to whisk over a medium heat. Cook until the mixture boils and thickens being careful not to let it burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, mix in the coconut and allow to cool then cream together with butter.
To make the jelly gems heat the elderflower cordial, mix in the gelatine and let it cool slightly. Pour onto a shallow tray with short sides, then push in the flowers upside down in a random arrangement. Place in the fridge. When set, cut circles with a cookie cutter and move from tray and place on top of cupcakes gently.

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” Iris Murdoch

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