The Power of Flowers: Violet-Chocolate Cupcakes

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For someone who claims to be such a chocoholic, I haven’t really been using that much of it in my baking of late. But when I do, oh mama…I don’t hold back. But rather than get completely carried away with the chocolate usage – trust me, there’s plenty of time for that – I decided to hold true to my word in my last cupcake post and pair chocolate with the sweet flavour of violet.

Was it a success? Well, I’m not sure. I’m not convinced either way. Perhaps I used too strong of a cocoa powder – I used up the very last bits of my prized Valrhona to make up about a third of the cocoa in this recipe, the remainder was good old reliable Fry’s. But maybe, as I learned the hard way with my first Red Velvet experience, you have to use a slightly more neutral cocoa powder or else it won’t work? In both cases the chocolate flavour turned out beautifully but just as the red wasn’t quite red enough in the Velvet, the violet wasn’t as prevalent as I would have liked it to be. But then, it could be as simple as I just used too much cocoa powder and not enough violet? Hmmm

I used the same recipe as I did for the Bleeding Heart Rose cupcakes with a few amendments, mainly swapping in cocoa for the 1/4 cup in the 1-1/4 cup sugar called for in the original recipe, and then 1 tsp violet syrup in place of the vanilla extract. The overall taste in the end was nice, especially with the addition of the violet buttercream – although I will have to use less violet in the icing next time because it refused to hold its shape, hence the slightly psychedelic appearance of the adorning ‘violets’.

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Also for next time, I may do away with the chocolate portion altogether in order to let the violet really shine – although it has a sweet sharpness to it on its own, the chocolate just tames the violet right down. And to add more of the violet flavouring, you run the risk of making the cake too perfumey in a sickly sweet sort of way. Perhaps I should keep it simple, as a white cake. Or maybe tint it with just a hint of purple to give it some edge, to really let it become The Violet Femme. Otherwise, I can already tell that this particular cake recipe is quickly becoming my ‘go-to’ when it comes to experimenting with new flavours and ideas. It’s incredibly adaptable.

Has anyone else tried baking with violet syrup? Any tricks or tips you wish to pass on would be great 🙂

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