Floral Cupcakes {Angel Food + Lemon Marshmallow Frosting}

Saturday morning.  Unabashedly unfeminine fishing hat - check.  Mini Mouse rod - check.  Tiny tackle box - check.  A sleeping mama, an anxious father, and a very happy little girl.  Only one thing stood between us and a day on the water - our traditional and obligatory 7-11 stop. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

My father and I went on many a fishing trip, and though the memories are hazy, their merry glow is timeless.  

Before every trip, one stop had to be made.  Though my mother was very capable of packing us lunches, and she always did, we could not forgo our chance to buy two Gatorades (Blue only please, the yellow was repulsive), a donut or two, and a bag of peach rings...which likely ended up shoved unto each of my grimy little fingers later that afternoon. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

Though my father and I have not made a 7-11 trip in quite some time, my love for days with him or for peach-flavored candy has not diminished in the least. 

When this month's edition of Martha Stewart Living showed up at my door several weeks ago, the tiny girl inside of me wanted to scream with giddy elation.  While elaborate decorations or themed desserts are not typically my preference, these confection flowers made for some of the loveliest cupcakes I had ever seen.  AND...they gave me an excuse to buy a bunch of candy so of course I was delighted. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

Setting out, I was prepared for disaster.  On the few occasions that I have attempted to emulate Martha, my endeavors have rarely looked even remotely like the picture I was copying.  

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

However, with this particular venture, the worst case only meant that I would be left with three dozen unadorned or very ugly angel food cupcakes, a bowl of fluffy frosting, and peach candies that would desperately need to be eaten by the handful.

Even the worst case seemed pretty wonderful. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

Angel food cake is always my cake of choice.  My mother makes it for my birthday every year, and I especially love it in the Springtime.  

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

I love watching egg whites become billowy white clouds.  

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

The flour mixture is dusted over the egg whites in three increments before being folded into the whites. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

While the cakes are cooling, you can get to work on the frosting.  

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

While I normally would have paired angel food cake with a simple spoonful of whipped cream, these cupcakes seemed to beg for something a little more whimsical - like a fluffy, lemon-scented marshmallow frosting. 

Of course, you could exchange the lemon for a tiny bit of rose water if you would really like to play up the floral vibe, I just wasn't feeling it this time. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

Sweet, airy, and fragrant with lemon - it's worth the seven straight minutes of tiresome beating. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

Decorating is simple, though I'll warn you now that slicing those peach candies in half is not exactly an easy task, but at least you can snack along the way... 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

While my sour-leather roses left a lot to be desired, I was quite delighted by how the peach and "berry" flowers turned out.

No, they are not entirely perfect like Martha's, but that is just fine with me.  

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

I hear there's a holiday for mothers coming up, and mother's typically like flowers so...  Just a thought. 

Angel Food Cupcakes with Candy Flowers {Pedantic Foodie}

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Floral Cupcakes - Angel Food + Lemon Marshmallow Frosting

recipes adapted from Ina Garten and Paula Deen / makes about 36 cupcakes

for the cupcakes

- 2 cup granulated sugar, divided 

- 1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour 

- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 10-12 large eggs)

- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar 

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

- 36 foil cupcake liners

 

Line several muffin tins with foil cupcake cups and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine flour and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and sift together four times.  Set aside. 

In the work bowl of your stand mixer, combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar.  Beat on high speed until medium peaks form - about one minute.  Reduce speed to medium and slowly sprinkle in 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar.

Increase the speed to high and whisk for 3-5 minutes more, until the whites are very thick and shiny and hold firm peaks.  In the last minute of beating, add vanilla extract.  

Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold it in gently.  Continue adding the flour mixture in fourths until it is fully incorporated.  

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are crisp and deep golden.*  

Remove the cakes from the oven and place on cooling racks.  While the cakes are cooling, prepare the marshmallow frosting. 

*Though the cakes may be cooked through, pulling them out too soon will results in a dense cake.  Make sure you allow the cakes to brown fully.  

for the lemon marshmallow frosting

 - 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 

- 1/3 cup water 

- 2 egg whites 

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

- zest of one lemon

Fill a heavy saucepan 3/4 full of water and place over high heat.  Bring to a heavy simmer. 

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, water, and egg whites in a glass bowl that is just slightly larger than the saucepan and that will easily rest over the pan when set on top.  Beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer for one minute.  The mixture should look somewhat frothy.  

Place the glass bowl over the pan of simmering water, being careful that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl - this could cause the frosting to turn to sugar. 

Beat the mixture on high speed with your electric hand mixer for seven minutes.  The mixer should be very thick and shiny.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan and beat in vanilla and lemon zest.  

Use the frosting immediately on cooled cupcakes. 

decorating and assembly

- peach candies, sliced in half 

- raspberry and blackberry candies

- literally whatever else you find appealing, except black licorice (ew)  

Use a butter knife to coat each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting and then decorate with your prepared candies to create whimsical flowers.  Store in airtight containers or serve immediately.  Enjoy! 


You may also like...

Strawberry Mint Limeade

What a week it has been.  I have needed to step back, take a couple of deep breaths, and set aside the soundtrack of stress that my brain so loves to play on repeat.  

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

If you have noticed my vacancy on social media lately, I’ll be back with more coffee and flower pictures soon.  I just needed a quick breather.

I'm making "To-Read" lists, trying to decide if I really want to buy a bathing suit, and drying tears - mostly my own. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

I hope you're planning picnics, farmer’s market trips, and decadent hours of relaxing with your favorite people. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

For now, let’s make a batch of something sweet, tart, and slightly herbaceous. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

I am smitten with this color palette.  When I was five years old my favorite color was chartreuse and I still get a little jolt of delight every time I have an excuse to juice limes.  Their natural ombre power makes my eyes happy. 

We begin by infusing a pitcher of water with sweet, sliced strawberries.  In just an hour this water will be pink and fragrant with strawberry flavor.  Did I mention it would be pink?  YAY! 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

While our strawberries are steeping, we prepare a sweet, mint syrup.  I love the combination of mint and lime.  Last year, I made this Blackberry Mint Limeade and it’s still a favorite. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

Freshly torn mint is pressed into granulated sugar with the tines of a fork.  This will release the oils and help us capture all of that fresh, minty flavor in our syrup. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

The subtle minty notes in this syrup will become more and more apparent as it cools. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

After juicing limes by hand for years, I am now convinced that a reamer is a kitchen essential.  It's a small luxury that you will thank yourself for buying every time you have to juice a big basket of citrus fruits. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

Gold straws are another luxury, far less practical, but nonetheless beguiling. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

Can I take a moment to say how much I looooove my new fish pitcher? My fiancé hates it and we spent a good fifteen minutes in the middle of Target, kindly discussing why I should/should not buy it… and then we walked away with my new found treasure in hand. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

This limeade is best after it has sat for a few hours and the flavors have had a chance to meld.  

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

These Spring days have been such a delight.  Though the strain of life does not diminish, its touch is less lasting.  

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

The cool morning air reminds me of the promise of new beginnings. 

Strawberry Mint Limeade {Pedantic Foodie}

Give yourself a break this weekend, if only for a few moments. 

Happy Friday, dear friends!

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Strawberry Mint Limeade

makes about 2 quarts

- 6 1/2 cups filtered water, divided 

- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced 

- 1 1/8 cups granulated sugar 

- 1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped

- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 

- lime wedges, for garnish

Combine six cups water with sliced strawberries in a large pitcher.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.  While the strawberries are steeping, prepare the mint syrup. 

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and fresh mint.  Use the tines of a fork to press the mint into the sugar.  

Place sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.  Stir often, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has begun to simmer.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the syrup has thickened slightly, and then remove from heat and allow to cool.  

Combine lime juice and mint syrup with the strawberry water.  At this point, you can refrigerate until ready to serve.  The longer the limeade sits, the more apparent the subtle flavors will become.*  

Serve over ice and garnish with fresh lime wedges.  Enjoy! 

*I liked this limeade best after it had sat overnight.  However, you will probably not want to keep it past two days, because the strawberry slices will become soggy and discolored. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Egg Cookery 101}

It’s time for installment No. 2 of Egg Cookery 101, and it seemed to me that the next preparation to tackle was incontestable.  

The scrambled egg. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

There are many ways to scramble an egg, and no doubt, many of them produce satisfactory results.  But, for my favorite scrambled egg there is only one path to triumph, and this is it. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

Narcissistic?  Perhaps, but I am not claiming that my permutation of the humble scrambled egg is the best.  After all, there is no question that many a fine egg has been scrambled in a myriad of ways differing from my personal method.  Therefore, I claim only that it is my favorite method, and I would wager it will soon be yours as well.  

So yes, it’s kind of the best.

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

Step One: The eggs.  

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

Fresh and cracked. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

The second step requires a bit more consideration. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

As a rule, I never whisk eggs with an actual whisk, and that is because I believe they tend to over-mix the eggs.  Several good mixes with a fork is all you need.  We are really just trying to break up the yolks and whites.  We do not want to achieve homogenization here.

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

Step Three: Cream; one heavy splash. 

Step Four: Salt; lightly sprinkled. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

The one factor I consider to be completely uncompromisable is the heat.  It must be medium.  High heat is for boiling water, not for creating a something light and airy.  If your stovetop tends to run a little hot, turn the heat down a bit more.  There should be no browning happening in the egg pan. 

I always let my butter melt completely and add my eggs only when it has begun to bubble.  Then, I allow the eggs to sit for one minute before I touch them.  Yes, one whole minute.  Set your timer.  This gives the eggs a chance to cook roughly one-half of the way.  

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

After the minute has passed, take a spoon or spatula, and gently fold the eggs over themselves and gently break them up so that all areas cook evenly.  Do not beat them, just gently move them around until they are just about to where you like them,* and remove the pan from the heat.  Taking the eggs off of the heat a bit prematurely is essential, as they will always set a bit more after you get them on your plate. 

*For me, this only takes one minute or just under. 

How to Scramble Eggs {Pedantic Foodie}

There you have it.  My favorite scrambled egg, that I hope will soon become yours. 

This concludes lesson two of Egg Cookery 101, a class taught by someone classically trained over many hours of half-awake breakfast preparation.  Super fancy. 

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie