The Secret Garden is a "Juvenile" book. Yep that's right, my favorite book so far this year is a kid's section book. I always knew about it. My stepmom gave me a copy of it a long time ago. But it wasn't until I was driving along listening to NPR and they reviewed it that I got really interested in it. The NPR review pointed out that this was a book about neglect. Here I thought it was a book about a spoiled girl and a garden. It is a book about a girl who gets whatever she wants, but nobody wants to spend anytime with her. She meets a boy who also gets whatever he wants, but nobody wants to spend time with him either.
Once they find each other Magic begins to happen. Mary and Colin play constantly in the forbidden and secret garden with another boy, Dickon, who happens to be well loved and well adjusted and the animals of the moor are very fond of him. It's a British story so of course there's a moor. And by the use of the Magic, or really through the power of positive thinking Colin begins to get well...
"And the sun felt warm upon his face like a hand with a lovely touch. And in wonder Mary and Dickon stood and stared at him. He looked so strange and different because a pink glow of color had actually crept all over him- ivory face and neck and hands and all.
'I shall get well! I shall get well!' he cried out. 'Mary! Dickon! I shall get well! And I shall live forever and ever and ever!'"
Although there are no actual cupcakes in the story, there was a garden, so I made what I hope to be a floral and semi-British tasting cupcake. It's a lavender and cardamom flavored cupcake with a honey and confectioner's sugar icing. These are my entry into the Novel Food. It's a quarterly event that celebrates the connection between books and foods. Two of my greatest loves. And I am late. I was supposed to have posted this morning. But last nights cupcakes had too much lavender and tasted sort of like, um, soap. SO make sure you look for the roundup on briciole, or Champaign Taste. Check for the roundup in the next few days!
Secret Garden Cupcakes
Lavender Cardamom Cupcakes:
1/2 tsp lavender flowers
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
yolk of 1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp lemon extract
Place paper liners in 6 muffin cups.
Gently pulse the lavender and sugar in a mini processor until lavender is thoroughly integrated into sugar.
Whisk the buttermilk, egg yolk and lemon extract together in a small bowl.
Whisk together flour, salt, cardamom, baking soda, and lavender sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and half the buttermilk mixture. With electric mixture beat until light and fluffy. Add the remaining buttermilk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake until tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
2 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp milk
Place the butter and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix with handheld mixer. Add honey and milk and continue beating until the mixture turns into a spreadable frosting. If it is too thin add more powdered sugar.