I’ll be amazed if this post makes it online tonight…we’re having severe internet issues this evening. I can try… This weekend I collected a big bag of dried hibiscus petals so I could make my favourite Jamaica Juice (which, it turns out I think I might now be allergic to…), and since they were there I thought I’d try them in some cupcakes. Now, I’ll be honest, while the flavour is super strong in my Jamaica juice, it really didn’t translate that well in my frosting. But, on the plus side, I now have a go-to natural pink food colouring! Icing aside, these cakes were pretty tasty.
What you’ll need:
80g butter, softened
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3 small apples, peeled, cored and finely diced.
10g dried hibiscus petals
50g caster sugar
Juice 1 lime
Batch of buttercream or cream cheese icing, using your preferred recipe (minus any vanilla extract or milk).
How to make them:
In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture is breadcrumb-like. In a separate jug, whisk the eggs and milk together, then slowly pour into the dry ingredients mixing all the time. When the mixture is smooth, fold in the apples. Spoon the batter into muffin cases and bake at 190C (fan oven) for around 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Now you have a few options: you could let the cakes cool and simply dust them with icing sugar to finish with a batch of apple buns (super yum, I did leave a few un-iced to take to work for my lunch break); or you can go ahead and make a frosting.
Pour the caster sugar and dried petals into a pan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then add the lime juice. Add a few teaspoons of the hibiscus syrup to your preferred icing and stir. The icing should turn a nice pale pink colour and will be extra sweet to the taste. Add more syrup as necessary, being careful to not make the icing too runny. Frost your cupcakes and serve up!
Confession, these cakes were made in a complete rush as I was running out of the door to go meet an old friend for dinner (I know, you can totally tell!). But I always say the best cupcakes are made in heels right? Just have to remember to dust off the icing sugar before you leave…