We all (or at least most of us) love our moms, and want them to be happy. Because when mom is happy, the whole world is happy, right?
This year for Mother’s Day, my mom requested Boston Creme cupcakes, which I obliged. But I also surprised her with a totally different “surprise” cupcake that she wasn’t expecting at all- rose water cupcakes! So in this post, I’ll go into the how-to’s of both; just in case your mom is traditional… and just in case she’s open to cupcakes that might taste “like grandma’s powder room” (as I’ve heard/read rose water described as). Anyway, I surprised her with them on Wednesday night & she was so excited. She was only expecting the Boston Creme… muahahaha.
I’ve made Boston Cream cupcakes before, but the shortcut kind using vanilla pudding. These are far better, trust me. Although the shortcut ones are perfectly good, and they are great in a pinch. However, you gotta admit nothing beats from-scratch, 100% real pastry cream. I used a combination of whole milk and 2% milk in it and it worked out just fine. I also didn’t use vanilla bean, just a ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
BOSTON CREME CUPCAKES
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 ¾ cups of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 1 ¼ cups of milk
Pastry Cream Filling:
- 2 cups whole, 2% fat, or 1% fat milk
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate*
- 1 cup heavy cream, boiling
- Cupcakes: Beat butter and sugar well, then add the rest of the ingredients. Fill cups, and bake at 375° degrees for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool before filling.
- Pastry cream: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. (The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.)
- Ganache: In a medium bowl, pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.
- To assemble, inject the cream filling into the cupcakes by either using a filled pastry bag fitted with a round tip or by coring out the centers using a round tip and filling the holes with cream using a teaspoon. Once done, dip the tops of each cupcake into the chocolate ganache, or as I did, drizzle it on the top using a spoon.
*I used 4 ounces milk chocolate and 4 ounces semi-sweet.
You will end up with more pastry cream and more ganache than you need, most likely. That said, store them in the fridge and a few days later you can make more cupcakes, or you can make eclairs. Or, just double this cupcake recipe above if you want more than 2 dozen. Anyway, it takes a while to make ’em, and there are a lot of steps, but they’re worth it! Sorry you can’t see the pastry cream filling very well there, when you cut ’em the chocolate just gets all over. Which ain’t really a bad thing…
So yeah, those look great, and taste great. But they didn’t have any visual pizzazz; they just didn’t really look like Mother’s Day cakes to me (like these). I had some other ideas in mind… so far as they go, they’re rose water cupcakes, and they’re really easy. All I did was take a vanilla cupcake recipe, and add rose water instead of vanilla extract. Actually to be more specific, I replaced ¾ of the vanilla extract in the recipe with rose water, and left only the ¼ of vanilla. Ta-da! The frosting is a basic confectioner’s sugar buttercream that was also made with rose water (no vanilla). Of course, the icing color I used was Wilton icing colors in “rose pink.” The liners are little striped ones with teapots and cupcakes, so I thought “Tea Rose” cupcakes was an appropriate name. Especially what with my mother’s pink rose teapot in the background!
I use Nielsen-Massey pure rose water that Lyns from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies sent me a while back. I made the rose toppers from just Googling some Victorian rose clip-art. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that Google? The liners are from Michael’s. Ironically, my mother saw them & bought them for me.
So Hap-hap-happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mamas out there. We appreciate & love you!