just a smidgen

Spring Anenome Cupcakes { for Emily }

Anenome I

It was a magical day, half of our wee family gone on a road trip, the other soundly sleeping. Just the pupster and I were drowsy awake with a steaming cup of coffee and all the time in the world to play in the kitchen.


There was a hushed quiet as the mixer hummed and eggs were cracked. Looking out the window, I reflected that I should appreciate the beautiful view out to our backyard more often.. its trees, the sky, bird song, the church steeple above, protecting us.


Snow had lightly fallen through the night, just a skiff, but enough to make the landscape pristine. As I submitted to a quiet moment of gratitude,  a soft wind gently stirred and whipped the flakes up into the air, where they soared, swirling like sparkling diamonds. The flakes danced, a shaken winter snow globe as we looked out from inside. I felt as though those glittering flakes seemed to be laughing, it was a joyous movement of song. Of course, a photograph couldn’t capture it, though I tried.. it was an ephemeral, fleeting message..

It took my breath away and then I knew, these little cakes were the perfect cups to bake… because someone had approved.

Later that morning, cupcakes in hand, I rang the bell and was ushered into a lovely home, candles lit, the quiet murmur of voices and warm hugs. We were celebrating, not a birthday this time, but the life of one precious mother who had gone on before us. This mother who in the last years of her life, when she could, still tucked her daughter in bed at night to keep her warm. We celebrated her lifetime of  adventure, baking, loving and cherishing, we heard stories and reminisced. We reflected on the gift of a good death, of a life well lived, better still… a life well loved.

I think I will always be my mother and father’s child.. even though I’ve become the mother who tucks my own children in bed at night.

These cupcakes caught my eye because they resemble Anenomes, something like the little one in the photograph above (although these are silk). They’re one of my favorite flowers, I never could resist the charm and allure of a wild flower.

These were inspired by Martha Stewart’s “cake and cupcakes” magazine, they were pretty to make with a little blackberry halves popped in the center of piped petals.

with a sprinkling of poppy seeds, finished with a little brush of diluted food coloring gel.

 Their wee faces were so cheerful.

 ♥

 Spring Anenome Cupcakes { for Emily }

 

Tender Lemon Cupcakes
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, unsalted
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • zest of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk ( or 1 1/4 cups milk with 1 1/4 tablespoons of vinegar added and set aside)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Line 36 muffin tins with cupcake paper liners. (I made mine in batches, the batter was still perfectly fine after waiting for the first batch to bake.)
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until lighter in color and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides after each egg is incorporated.
  5. Blend in lemon zest and vanilla.
  6. Turn mixer to low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat, ending with the flour. Keep on low speed until a smooth batter has formed. Do not overmix.
  7. Scoop batter into cupcake liners. I made sure each was filled only to 1/2 - 3/4 full so that the cupcakes wouldn't overflow and be difficult to frost. Using a knife or small offset spatula, smooth the tops of the batter flat.
  8. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and move to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Cool completely before frosting.
Notes
By Martha Stewart
Adapted from cakes and cupcakes

Perfect for Piping Buttercream Frosting
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter, unsalted and at room temperature (not melted)
  • 3 cups confectioner's powdered icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • *optional: up to 2 additional tablespoons heavy cream (or milk) and additional confectioner's sugar
Instructions
  1. With the mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy, pale in color. This should take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add 3 cups confectioner's sugar. Beat on low until it is incorporated, then turn the mixer to medium speed and mix well to blend.
  3. Add vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Mix well for 3 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.
Notes

I found this recipe worked to make the perfect consistency of icing, just as written. Measure carefully, but if your icing is too runny, add more confectioner's sugar. If it is too "stiff" add more cream, one tablespoon at a time.

Adapted from Sweety Savory LIfe

Spring Anenome Cupcakes { for Emily }
 
Ingredients
  • 12 Tender Lemon Cupcakes
  • 1 batch Perfect for Piping Buttercream Icing
  • Disposable piping bags (Wilton)
  • #104 piping tip
  • 1 container blackberries
  • poppyseeds
  • gel food colouring in pink and violet
  • small food grade paint brushed (also Wilton)
Instructions
  1. Once your cupcakes are fully cooled, they are now ready to assemble!
  2. { All of my baking supplies were purchased at Michael's, our local craft and hobby store. }
  3. Insert a #104 piping tip into a disposable icing bag.
  4. Tuck the bag open over your left hand. Using a spatula, heap a large scoop of frosting and scrape it into the bag, repeat again and it should be full. Secure the top with an elastic band. (Wilton makes some easy to use purple rubber bands.) This keeps the icing from coming out of the top. If you don't have an elastic, twist the top securely and fold it over to hold while you pipe.
  5. Turn the piping bag on a 45 angle and to the right, ensuring that the narrowest portion of the icing tip is on the outside of your cupcake, the wider portion is in the middle (or towards you). The narrow portion is what makes the crisp edges of the petal. With even pressure, squeeze the frosting out from the center then back to the center of the cupcake. Repeat, overlapping petals as you go. You should make about 7-9 petals on each cupcake.
  6. Cut the blackberry in half horizontally and place it cut side up in the center.
  7. Using a spoon or your fingers, sprinkle the poppy seeds, trying to keep them tucked around the blackberry so they resemble an anenome.
  8. When the cupcakes are done and the frosting has begun to set, you can begin painting the centers. I used a wee dob of gel and a damp/wet brush to dilute the food coloring somewhat.
  9. Gently pull the gel color from under the blackberry out. This isn't a "perfect" look, some icing will get on your brush, just rinse under the tap and keep going.
  10. Pink or purple anenomes can be painted.
Notes
Adapted from Martha Stewart

 

 

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