The inspiration for these cakes came from the wonderful lavender bush in my garden. I looked for recipes using lavender but as I am on a 'flowers and cupcakes' mission at the moment, Nigella's recipe in her book Forever Summer was perfect.
Nigella created these lavender cupcakes to raise money for the Lavender Trust, which is a charity for young women with breast cancer and was set up in memory of Ruth Picardie.
Whilst in the garden on a glorious hot and sunny day, I gained an unexpected 'new friend', a butterfly no less. As I started to cut a few lavender sprigs, he settled on the bush. He was a little camera shy and the photograph, unfortunately, doesn't show all of his markings.
For this recipe you will need to make some lavender sugar first. Simply put a few sprigs of lavender into some caster sugar for a few days and hey presto, lavender sugar.
For the cupcakes you will need:
125 g self-raising flour, 125g very soft unsalted butter, 125g sieved lavender sugar, 2 eggs, pinch salt and a few tablespoons of milk.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C /Gas 6 and line a 12 bun muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Put all of the cake ingredients, except the milk, into a food processor and whizz, now blend in the milk.
3. Fill the cake cases and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked.
For the icing:
250g Instant Royal Icing, violet icing colour, twelve sprigs lavender
1. Cut the peaked tops off the cooled cupcakes.
2. Make up the icing with a little water to a thick double cream pouring consistency. Put some food colour paste onto a skewer and dye the icing to a pastel violet.
3. Spoon some of the icing over the top of the cupcakes. Top each of the cupcakes with a little sprig of lavender before the icing sets.