I'm just mad about saffron...
In remembrance of our trip to Las Vegas and our spectacular viewing of the amazing Love Cirque du Soleil show, and in celebration of her birthday, I made Rachel Orange Chiffon Cupcakes with Saffron Buttercream.
I spoke about my love of using saffron in desserts and how special and rare this spice is in my Saffron Apple Tart post. I just adore honoring this delicate spice by allowing it to truly shine on it's own in a recipe. My Saffron Buttercream is rich and creamy and affords the saffron threads a place to shine. The soft flavor of the saffron compliments the light orange chiffon cake but would also pair beautifully with a pistachio or pear cake.
While this buttercream might seem a little daunting, I promise it is really very simple and almost impossible to mess up. The egg yolks add such richness and flavor to the buttercream and are fully cooked in the process so there is no risk. The recipe can be easily adapted by omitting the saffron and adding vanilla (or any other extract). Give it a try, it is a thousand times better than a plain butter and powdered sugar buttercream and just as easy.
9 egg yolks
1/2 cup corn syrup
5 1/2 oz sugar
1/4 tsp saffron threads (finely chopped)
1. Begin whisking yolks in mixer.
2. Meanwhile, bring corn syrup, sugar, and saffron to a boil on the stove.
3. Once this is at a boil, slowly pour syrup into yolk mixture (lower speed but keep on). Switch to paddle attachment on mixer, increase speed and allow to fully cool (this will take about 10 minutes).
4. Add butter in pieces, and continue to mix until well blended and mixture becomes shiny in appearance (about 3-5 minutes).
5. Refrigerate until ready to use. Before using, beat with paddle attachment until shiny and soft.
The Orange Chiffon Cupcakes are made from the same batter I used to make the cake in my Acai Mousse Tart.
Orange Chiffon Cupcakes
1 # cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1# 5oz egg yolks
8 fl oz vegetable oil
8 fl oz orange juice
1 Tbs vanilla
1# 5oz egg whites
1 orange, zest
1. Sift the dry ingredients together and mix with 1/3 of sugar.
2. Combine yolks, oil, juice, zest, vanilla in mixer. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into larger bowl and set aside.
3. Whip the whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (you will see white foam). Increase speed and gradually add the remaining sugar. Continue to whip to create a medium peak meringue.
4. Gently fold 1/3 of meringue into yolk mixture to fully combine. Fold in rest of meringue.
5. Divide into lined cupcake molds and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Allow to cool, and frost with buttercream. I decorated the top with chocolate shavings and kumquat slices.
Happy birthday Miss Rachel!!! (I realize this posting is a little late, but now you can have the recipe as a special bonus gift, surprise!)