For my Nona's 80th birthday on Saturday I baked lavender cupcakes. Mainly because 'When I'm an old woman I shall wear purple' but also because the idea of eating flowers, tasting smells, appeals.
The lavender flavour comes from infusing 3 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers in 120ml of milk for the cake plus a tablespoon of flowers in 25ml of milk for the frosting and then leaving the flowered milk to steep/brew overnight. I sourced the dried lavender flowers from Neal's Yard in Lower Goat Lane after being direct there by the man with the (delightfully) distinctive nose who runs the spice stall on the market.
I based these on a recipe in Hummingbird again. All the recipes instruct you to put the ingredients in a 'freestanding electric mixer' something I lack. However, being a free standing lady with excess nervous energy and a wooden spoon feels like a more organic way to stir things up.
To make the frosting purple I mixed together blue and red food dye. I write with false-authority since I expected that to spectacularly fail. A child wanting all the colours at once, hoping for a rainbow, creates sludge. Things worked fine this time, almost only because I didn't have the third primary colour to hand. I bought white and purple sugar-craft flowers from Digby's chocolate shop in the Royal Arcade and voilà kitsch attack!
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