I love lavender, I have lavender linen spray and lavender-scented drawer liners so my attraction to lavender in food was inevitable. These cupcakes came by way of an ice cream I had a little while ago while living in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is probably a little known fact, but New Orleans has some of the best ice-cream ever. I have been to Italy and had their gelato, I love the pistachio the best and I used to buy some interesting flavoured ice cream from a little shop in Melbourne, during my time living there. But New Orleans ice cream was an unexpected revelation.
One of the habits my flat mate and I developed while living in New Orleans was going for ice cream before we hit the bars. I think my flat mate Miss LuLu had the idea that it lined your stomach and made a hangover less likely. I am not sure this theory held up to testing, but it did mean that we got to try a lot of great ice cream while in New Orleans. The most memorable ice cream I had was a Lavender and Creole Cream Cheese ice cream. Now Creole Cream cheese is not something you just stumble across here in the antipodes. I do have a recipe for it, but if any readers out there know where one could buy it from, I sure would appreciate the info. The ice cream was not overly sweet which I have to admit I prefer, but it was creamy, smooth and slightly perfumed, with an almost savoury quality. I remember being completely intoxicated by the ice cream from the very first lick, the fragrant memory has stayed with me.
When some lovely women I met through a partner told me they were making a gastronomical journey through Tasmania, I asked them to bring back some Lavender honey for me. Unbelievably they remembered my request through the haze of champagne and food and brought back a lovely jar of the stuff. It has been sitting in my cupboard since the beginning of the year and finally I have done something with it. I paired the cupcake with a cream cheese frosting as a tribute to my favourite Ice Cream from the Big Easy. The flavours worked very well together and while I have previously found that lavender in food can be an acquired taste, the raspberry cream cheese frosting coupled with the stickiness of the cake was a hit with everyone who tried one. Rich, sweet and moreish. I will definitely be making them again.
Where did you find the best ice cream you ever had?
Lavender Honey cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 185 gms unsalted butter
- 2 heaped tablespoons of lavender honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
- 125 gms of unsalted butter
- 200 grams of cream cheese
- 400 grams of icing sugar
- 1/4 cup strained Raspberry coulis
1. Pre heat oven to 170 degrees
2. Line cupcake trays with paper cup cake cases
3. Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy
4. Beat in eggs one at a time with vanilla extract.
5. Slowly add honey while stirring. The mixture will look like it has seperated. Don’t panic. It will come together just keep stirring it.
6. Spoon mixture into cupcake case.
7. Bake in 170 degree oven for 15 – 20 mins.
Place 2o0 grams of frozen raspberries, 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a pot over a stove on medium and heat until bubbly slightly. Leave bubbling for 10 mins. It will reduce and become sticky and take on a jam like consistency. Drain through a sieve to remove the pips.
1. Place softened cream cheese and butter into a bowl and beat till combined.
2. Add the coulis and beat for 1 mins longer and then slowly add the icing sugar until you have the correct consistency.
3. Pipe or spoon on to cooled cupcakes and serve!