Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shahi Falooda Cupcakes

And today we have a lovely treat from a guest blogger: my friend Asmi.  Asmi made me some lovely cupcakes for my birthday celebration!  And, because they were pink, they of course had to make an appearance here on Hom Nom.

I've never had falooda, that I'm aware of.  Asmi explains what it is below.  We toyed with the idea of making falooda ice cream, but it didn't materialize since I was so busy making 800 other kinds of ice cream.  These are very delicious rose flavored cupcakes with candied almonds and pistachios.  A really fantastic birthday treat!

Hello! This is Asmi, Jyoti has graciously offered to let me guest blog. :)

I wanted to do something special for Jyoti's birthday, especially after the amazing birthday cake she made me. I did a lot of blog searching, recipe reading, and brainstorming trying to figure out what to do. After all my research I decided to make falooda cupcakes. Falooda = PINK! For those who don't know, it's a popular milkshake in Bombay. It's typically made with milk, vanilla ice cream, rose syrup, takmaria (basil seeds), and sev (fine vermicelli noodles) - this is the classic version. There's also lots of variations using different mix-ins and/or different flavored syrups. I wanted to do shahi (royal) falooda, named so because of the addition of nuts.

Roasting the nuts. I measured the pistachios and almonds, then roughly chopped them by hand.

Rose syrup has a lovely deep pink color and is very fragrant (and sticky!).

I've been using Sugar in the Raw for all my baking lately, I really like the added texture and nutty/vanilla flavor. Plus, I think it's less deathly than normal white sugar. Yes, I'm pretending to be healthy while making cupcakes. haha

Simmer rose syrup and sugar to make a thick coating for the nuts. Sugar in the Raw didn't completely dissolve in 15 minutes, but I thought the mixture was thick enough and went ahead to coat the nuts. There was no problem with the small granules that remained. 

Coat nuts with syrup and allow to cool on the side.

Pink cupcake wrappers!

The next part is getting the batter together. The key here is to let the soymilk curdle with vinegar, the chemical reaction simulates an egg in baking. There are no pictures of this because it's not visually appealing. Word to the wise, it also smells a little funky. But it's super quick, getting the dry ingrients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another, then mix. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and pop in the oven.

I read somewhere that glazing cupcakes with simple syrup keeps them moist and tender, a better surface for frosting. I decided to experiment and glazed all the cupcakes with rose syrup using a baker's brush. I think this worked well and will definitely be adding simple syrup the next time I make cupcakes.

Rosy pink frosting! The frosting itself had a pale pink color thanks to the rose syrup, I amped it up with some fuchsia food coloring.

I decided the easiest course of action would be to adapt a cupcake recipe with syrup and swap in rose syrup. I adapted the Maple Cupcakes with Creamy Maple Frosting and Sugared Walnuts from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. My modified recipe is below.  I made the frosting recipe myself based on previous experience with butter cream frosting with some guestimation and luck. I didn't use the one in the original recipe because I didn't have soy milk powder at home and also didn't think it would be stiff enough for decorating.

Shahi Falooda Cupcakes, adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

(looks like the recipe makes 12?)


  • 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rose syrup (plus more if glazing - optional)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugared nuts
Sugared Nuts
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rose syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance 
  • 3 tablespoons rose syrup
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Fuchsia food coloring (optional) Jyoti Note: NOT optional for my birthday cupcakes.
For the sugared nuts:

Preheat oven to 275° F. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Open over and shake the pan after about 4 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn! Remove from the oven and place in a bowl to cool. Lightly grease a large piece of parchment paper and have it ready because you will need it at the end of the next step.

Pour sugar and rose syrup into a large, cold, heavy-bottom skilled (I used a stainless steel bowl that worked fine). Turn heat to medium and stir with a wooden spoon till sugar start to melt and bubble, about 5 minutes. Continue stirring and cook another 3-4 minutes until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the nuts, making sure to coat each nut. Immediately spread coated nuts on greased parchment paper, using a spatula to spread out the nuts and avoid forming large clusters. Allow to cool completely on sheet before handling or eating.

For cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners (preferably pink).
Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, set aside and allow to curdle for a few minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder, boking soda, salt into a separate bowl and whisk. Whisk the rose syrup, oil, sugar, vanilla extract into soy milk mixture. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wed ingredients, stirring till large lumps are gone; fold in the sugared nuts. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way. Bake 20-22 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Frost and sprinkle with sugared nuts.

For the frosting:
Cream together shortening, Earth balance, and rose syrup.
Add in powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add more sugar if you would like a stiffer consistency.
If adding food coloring, add a few drops and mix thoroughly. Repeat till you get the desired color.

Decorate with the remaining candied nuts. I had probably about 1/4 cup of candied nuts left after I finished decorating the cupcakes. You can either adjust the recipe to make less nuts or feed them to any hungry roommates you have lying around. :)

I think the cupcakes came out great! They were moist, tasty, and PINK. The only note I would have is that they though they tasted decidedly Indian and there was a hint of "something" it was really hard to tell that the flavoring was rose. Next time I make these I'm going to pick up rose essence from the Indian store and add a few drops to the batter and frosting.

Substitution notes: I made these cupcakes vegan, but they can easily be adapted to more traditional ingredients you have at home (e.g. butter, cow's milk, only use all-purpose floor, white vinegar).

Thanks for sharing Asmi! I second that - the cupcakes were SO amazing and moist!  Like, seriously babycakes, you need to MOVE out of the way.  


Lavina said...

yum yum yum! cool didn't know you could bake with sugar in the raw!

Asmi said...

Jyo, thanks for letting me guest! =D

Yep, it makes 12 cupcakes. Oops!

Lavi, I used Sugar in the Raw for all the GG party cupcakes too.

Anita said...

Really unique recipe Asmi! Totally impressed by your cupcake skillz!

girlgeniusNYC said...

Awesome! Now I am hungry... can you ship cupcakes to LA? ha ha ha Love the PINK and the rose!! :-)