a tiny taste of summer cupcake
Chefs and baking professionals love a stock syrup, once you start using them you will too!
Stock syrups are also known as sugar syrup, simple syrup, light or heavy syrup depending where you are from. Cakes are syruped to seal the cake preserving freshness, moisten the cake and can also flavour the cake.
With a jar of stock syrup in the fridge you can quickly poach fruit, add to salad dressings, syrup your cupcakes, act as glaze, whip up a sorbet, make fruit sauces/coulis, cocktails, and a plethora of dessert applications.
Stock syrup is often infused with herbs, spices, citrus, ginger, vanilla, liqueurs, teas and flowers.
Basic Stock Syrup
2 cups of water
2 cups of white sugar
Combine the water and sugar in a medium heavy based saucepan. Over medium heat bring mixture to boil, stirring once or twice along the way.
Cook 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
one cup of stock syrup
small fresh basil leaves
Put one cup of syrup in a small saucepan, pour remaining syrup into a screw top jar and refrigerate for up to three weeks.
Bring the syrup in the saucepan almost to the boil, add three basil leaves and cover... allow to steep for 20 minutes. Remove basil leaves and allow syrup to cool.
The basil after steeping ready to be removed. Whole spices, vanilla beans, and citrus peel may be left longer if desired. The syrup will pick up the colour of citrus peel with prolonged standing.
Brush cupcake tops with basil syrup, top with either marscarpone or cream cheese frosting. Toss chopped strawberries in the left over syrup and pile onto your cupcakes. Add small basil leaves for decoration.
Other flavoured syrups are created in the same way, try rosemary, thyme and mint. Vanilla made with a whole split bean, store the vanilla bean in the syrup for a stronger flavour. A bruised piece of fresh ginger makes a lovely syrup to use on fruit salads, so does split and bruised lemon grass... or how about a combo of the two "ginger and lemon grass". Tea bags, herbal, green or black make for flavourful infused syrup as does roasted coffee/cocoa nibs.
Allow one tablespoon of liqueur or rum/brandy/whisky per cup of syrup, this is a great cake syrup or even in your cup of coffee (though probably best not to have it with your brekkie cup). Zest strips from lemon, lime, orange, remove after 20 minutes for a slight citrus tang, leave overnight for a stronger flavour.
Whole spices such as cinnamon or star anise can also be left in the syrup if a stronger flavour is desired. If using flowers keep the quantity of petals/buds small, a little goes a long way.
*notes; cupcake pictured today is larger than real life version, the actual cupcake and subsequent basil leaves are small. To make a heavier/thicker syrup 3 cups sugar to 1 cup water, to make a lighter syrup 3 parts water to one part sugar.
That's it for today, hope you are all having a great weekend.
Happy Baking :)