Monday, April 18, 2011


Hello Monday! I'm trying to be a little peppier on Mondays. Hmm. Still think we should have a 3 day weekend. Hope your week is off to a good start!

This weekend I made a batch of cupcakes to take to our friend Daniel, co-owner of the shop Walrus. He had a special birthday, so he deserved some sparkly cupcakes. Sparkly cupcakes need sparkly wine to go with them. It was a fun way to wrap up the weekend. Oh, and the Canucks won too!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Pistachio Praline Whipped Icing - makes about 36 mini cupcakes (this is a Donna Hay recipe)
4 1/2oz/125g softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup berry/caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Pistachio Praline:
5 1/4oz unsalted pistachios
1 cup berry/caster sugar
1/2 cup water

Whipped Icing:
1 cup berry/caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites

To make the pistachio praline, place the nuts on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir, until dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from heat, allow the bubbles to subside and pour mixture over nuts. Allow to cool completely. Break praline up into small pieces, place in a food processor and process to a coarse consistency. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 320f/160c. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, and beat well. Sift over the flour and baking powder and beat until combined. Fold through the milk, then spoon into mini muffin tins lined with muffin papers. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the whipped icing, place the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until thick and glossy. Spread the icing over the cupcakes with a palette knife and top with the pistachio praline. Eat and enjoy. These are incredibly good.

These are really simple and fun to make. Would be great for Easter brunch too. 
Have a good day! Back soon.


the southern hostess said...

They could not be cuter. I love pistachios, so these are my kind of cupcakes.

shellie said...

seriously yummm....and pistachios too....extra yummm yummm!

Monique said...

These look incredibly yummy and I love the size of them!

Jan | Poppytalk said...

you always make the most delicious looking baked goods, really. you should open a bakery!

Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy said...

Mmmmmm, what a yummy cupcake topping!! And I love your new blog header by the way!

Miss Walker said...

These look so good! Love your blog, now following! Miss Walker xoxo

Jim said...

Gorgeous pics and what look like mouth-watering
cupcakes. Like how your choice of lighting accentuates the cupcakes softness.

The praline idea seems so simple and nice and crunchy.

A few weeks ago at our studio there was a shoot and the food stylist left behind MOUNDS of peanut brittle. The surprise was it was spicy peanut brittle. One batch made with black pepper and the other I think with a little chili. It was
amazing but just in little, wee bits...

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

they look amazing, I love pistachhios and would have never thought about something like this, might give them a go!

kate / tinywarbler said...

um, these look SO good. i love the shots of the pistachio praline, it looks so pretty! the colors!
my birthday is in june. just saying. ;)

Cez said...

ummmm, you are such a great cooker!!!!!

Missing Goat said...

I'm coming to the city tomorrow ..any of those left???

leslie said...

I love your baking stories. Gorgeous photos and they have me wanting to run to the kitchen asap. :)
ps Your blog header is really pretty too!

Marisa Midori said...

I love pistachios! These look like they are the perfect fluffy cupcake texture.

le@thirdontheright said...

just divine - cupcakes and wine - you can be my friend anytime !! le xox

Millie said...

Another winning recipe from you Janis - thanks from Down Under.
Millie x

Down and Out Chic said...

oh yum. my husband is a huge fan of pistachios so these would be the perfect treat for him. i'll have to bookmark your recipe. thank you!

nathalie van volsom said...

J'ai découvert cette recette par Miki.o, et je dois dire que je ne suis pas déçue. C'est fabuleux et les photos y sont pour beaucoup.
Moi aussi j'essaye d'illustrer avec de belles photos les articles de mon blog, mais avec mon tout petit numérique, mes photos sont de mauvaise qualité. Je passe alors beaucoup de temps à les retoucher pour leurs donner un aspect correct mais cela devient parfois trop artificiel, et photographe c'est un métier ......
félicitation !