Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bollywood Cuppies: Pistachio and Cardamom with Mango Cupcakes

For over a year, Anuja has been promising a Bollywood movie night. She is disappointed, to say the least, that I absolutely love the movie Bride and Prejudice, which isn't a real Bollywood movie. I completely agree, but that doesn't mean that Bride and Prejudice isn't an awesome, ridiculous movie, right?

Anyway, we finally got the girls together for a cupcake making and decorating session. Anuja rented the Bollywood classic Pardes, which means "foreign land." It was close to four hours long... but we made it through the entire movie! It was great, although I would argue that there wasn't enough dancing in it. "I love my India...." I'm looking forward to further exploring that genre!

But onto the cupcakes! I saw a Bollywood decorating idea in the cupcake book "Bake Me, I'm Yours." Perfect! Now I just needed a good base for the cupcake. After searching the internet and my various cupcake books for inspiration, I decided to try to make something up. Anuja suggested the flavors of mango and pistachio, and of course cardamom. I was a little worried that the cupcakes wouldn't come out good while I had company over, but once Ming realized that we needed eggs, everything worked out! The cakes tasted very yummy, although the mango flavor was very slight. We used Margie's Mango Syrup, found in the syrup section of the grocery store. I also had to use gold muffin liners to make it more ostentatious. They were Wilton brand and I got them from the Baker's Nook.

Pistachio Cardamom with Mango Cupcakes - makes 24
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup mango syrup
  • 2 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 + 1 generous pinch cardamom
  • 2/3 cups chopped pistachios (unsalted)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, cut the butter into smaller pieces and cream with an electric mixer on low-medium speed until fluffy.
  3. Add the cup of sugar to the butter and mix with the mixer on medium speed until well mixed. It should look sort of crumbly.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition.
  5. Add the mango syrup and beat until well mixed.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and cardamom.
  7. Slowly add the mixed dry ingredients to the larger mixing bowl. Mix well after each addition.
  8. Stir in the pistachios.
  9. Fill cupcake liners 1/2-3/4 full of batter. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

I think that the cupcakes tasted so good that they would be delicious without frosting. You could really taste the cardamom.

And I have to include this picture of the pistachios before they went into the food processor. I think pistachios are so pretty with the greens and purples. I did increase the saturation of the color of this picture, for full disclosure.

And now for the frosting. Since the cake wasn't all that mango-y, I wanted to use a mango glaze. I chose a glaze so that it would dry and look shiny. It made the decorating more difficult since the glaze dries pretty quickly, but I'll explain a little later how we made it work.

Mango Glaze - enough for 2 dozen cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons mango syrup (or to taste)
  1. Beat the butter and powdered sugar together. It will be crumbly.
  2. Add the milk. Mix
  3. Add the mango syrup. Mix.

I added a little bit of pink food coloring to make it a light pink color to match our decorations.

Ok, and now for the decorating. I purchased all of these items at the Baker's Nook.

Bollywood paisley design
  • Gold dragees
  • Pink non-pariels
  • Orange non-pariels
Google some images of paisleys and just try to match them. We used the gold dragees around the outside for a border and then used the pink and orange non-pariels to color the inside. You can outline the paisley design with a toothpick. It was pretty difficult to get everything to stick to the cupcake. You can wet the top of the cupcake with a little bit of water for things to stick.

Technically, gold dragees (below) are not approved by the FDA by food in the US. The lady who sold them to me said that she couldn't tell me they were edible, but that she has been eating them her whole life and they get rung up as an edible item. They are considered food in other countries. That being said, they don't really taste good and are sort of hard and make eating more of a task than an edible decoration should be. We took most of the dragees off before actually eating the cupcake. If I were to make these again, I probably wouldn't go through the extra expense of buying the gold dragees, which are pricey. However, they do look very pretty.

Here are some pictures of what we did for ideas:

I forget who made this one, but this was one of the better paiselys. Most of them looked like "e." The inside shape is filled with orange non-pariels and the outside uses pink.

We were tired of the paisley, but you can still use the same three sprinkles to make pretty designs!

And now if you will excuse me, I need to go run through a field and participate in some choreographed dancing!

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