My entry for Iron Cupcake Earth: Thai basil, lemongrass and star anise infused cake made with jaggery, a South Asian coconut palm sugar, and topped with a lemongrass-basil infused toasted coconut buttercream. It is garnished with roasted and salted ground peanuts and fresh Thai basil.
You can read more about it and using fresh herbs from the garden at The Conscious Kitchen.
Enjoy the recipe below!
Thai Basil Jaggery Cupcakes with Lemongrass-Basil Infused Toasted Coconut Buttercream
Thai Aromatics Infused Soymilk
1 ¾ cups unsweetened soymilk
1 cup packed Thai basil
¼ cup finely chopped lemongrass, green tops and outer layers discarded
3 star anise
Thai Basil Jaggery Cupcakes
1 ⅓ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Thai aromatics infused soymilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup lemongrass or safflower oil
⅔ cup jaggery
½ teaspoon sea salt
Lemongrass-Basil Infused Toasted Coconut Buttercream
½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Stick
⅓ cup freshly toasted unsweetened coconut
2 ½-3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons infused soymilk, as needed for consistency
1/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts, ground
Thai basil leaves
Prepare the infused soymilk:
Combine all ingredients and gently heat over a low flame, stirring until the mixture reaches a low rolling boil. Remove from heat and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let sit covered until cool, about an hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake pan with liners. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and the cooled soymilk infusion, whisking until the mixture is thick. Whisk in the oil, jaggery and sea salt. Combine this wet mixture with the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. Fill liners ⅔ full with the batter and bake for 22 minutes.
In a stand mixer combine the sugar, toasted coconut and infused soymilk. With whisk attachment, combine the ingredients until light and fluffy.
Assemble cupcakes by piping the toasted coconut buttercream on them. Sprinkle each with one teaspoon crushed peanuts and placing a small cluster of Thai basil leaves on top.