Having been away from the blog for such a long time I felt I had to make up for it with two posts today!
About a month ago I was asked if I could have a cupcake stand at the yearly IWOG (International Women's Organisation of Greece) Christmas Bazaar the 4th of December. I am only too happy to oblige! I get to play around with different tastes for Christmas-themed cupcakes and decorations, which is all good fun!
I have already been thinking of different flavours for a while now, and with my mother-in-law's birthday last week I got the change to bake a batch of saffron and cardamom cupcakes I have been meaning to bake for a while.
For me saffron and cardamom are the two spices used in some traditional Swedish sweet buns they make for St. Lucia day (the 13th of December)called "lussekatter". We also make them in Norway and they taste absolutely heaven when made with real saffron. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, but luckily as they also are produced in Greece they aren't too expensive (well, almost €3 for 1g, all is relative!). They create a lovely yellow colour and they have a lovely, lovely fragance which I cannot even begin to describe!
The recipe I used came extremly close to the taste of "lussekatter", especially since I replaced the vanilla with cardamom. As the taste of the cakes themselves is so fantastic I didn't want a frosting that could potentially overpower the saffron taste, so opted for a lemon cream cheese frosting. The lemon taste was subtle and it really complemented the cake itself.
I was going to make candied lemon peel as decoration for these cupcakes, but I thought it would make the frosting too sweet and destroy the whole balance between the saffron and cardamom cake and the frosting, so decided to use only a little grated lemon peel for a nice, yellow contrasting effect to the white frosting.
Personally I thought these cupcakes tasted heavenly and they do taste of Christmas! I guess saffron is an aquired taste, so still not sure if I'll bake them for the IWOG Christmas bazaar though. Time will show!