This is the first post for my new feature, Tasty Tuesday. Originally I called it Noshes & Nibbles when I set out my goals for the year but the name didn’t feel quite right. I was inspired to start this feature by my love of food, Jolynn Raymond’s Sexy Recipes, and a book I received many years ago, Intercourses.
I love chocolate. Having eaten very little of it until my mid 20’s due to an allergy, I quickly made up for all those missed years when I found out I was no longer allergic to the delicious treat. I also love lavender and cooking with it. I’ve been making lavender shortbread for years and have also made lemon cupcakes with lavender icing many times. Lemon and lavender is a great combination. When I combined chocolate and lavender I knew I had found another perfect match. I first made these for a play party last year. They were a big hit. I came home with an empty container. (Yes, I tried out a new recipe for an event. I tend to always try new recipes for parties and pot-lucks. That’s the best way to do it. If it turns out to be a dud there are plenty of other things to eat.)
Now that there is a wonderful local lavender farm, Terra Bleu, I am sure my experimenting will continue. I can’t wait for the next season to open.
Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender, ground*
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup hot water, just boiled
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
lavender buttercream frosting (recipe included below)
1. Heat oven to 350°F and place liners in muffin tins
2. Mix dry ingredients, except chocolate chips, together in large bowl
3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir together then beat on medium speed with a mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in the hot water, then add chocolate chips.
4. Pour batter into prepared tins, top with remaining chocolate chips
5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes
6. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender, ground*
2 tablespoons milk, if needed
1. Beat butter until light and fluffy
2. Add lavender and sugar one cup at a time, keep beating
3. Depending on consistency, you may need to add more icing sugar or some of the milk, a teaspoon at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy again
*I grind the dried lavender in my magic bullet blender with a bit of the sugar. Ensure you grind very fine and there are no large pieces. You could also use a coffee grinder (one that you don’t grind coffee in), or a mortar and pestle if you want to work your muscles. Alternately, you could steep the lavender in the water or milk called for in the recipes and use this to flavour.