vanilla cupcakes with cherry blossom syrup and a Cherry blossom syrup infused Crème Fraîche frosting
In a heavy bottomed, add the water and sugar. Heat it on medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and becomes syrupy.
Remove from heat, add the petals. You can keep them overnight or let it come to room temperature.
Strain the syrup into a clean bottle and store in the refrigerator for upto 3 months.
Add the lemon juice to the milk and keep aside. If you are using buttermilk, skip this step.
Preheat the oven to 350°F /180°C . Line the cupcake tin with liners.
Add the egg whites in a bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment on a stand mixer or a hand blender. Whisk it until stiff peaks are formed. Keep aside until needed.
In an another bowl fitted with a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, add the butter, oil and sugar. Cream the fats and sugar until pale and fluffy (3-4 mins on medium speed)
Add and beat one yolk at a time. Add half of the milk and lemon juice mixture.
Sieve in half of the flour and the baking powder, give it a gentle mix.
Add the rest of the "buttermilk", vanilla and the remaining flour. Mix all the ingredients.
Fold in the egg whites into the batter (you can also add slowly the egg whites while the batter is mixing on the lowest speed on your mixer).
using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liner. Bake for 18 minutes, check the for doneness. Remove from the oven and brush the cherry blossom syrup on the cupcakes generously.
Let them cool on a cooling rack until ready to be frosted. (You can freeze them and frost before serving too)
In a bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, add the creme fraîche, icing sugar, whipping cream and the cherry blossom syrup.
Whisk for 30 seconds to a minute, until its fluffy. You can add a touch of pink food colouring. Once it's whipped, you can immediately frost the cupcakes or chill in the refrigerator and frost later.
Using a small brush, brush the egg whites on the flower very gently!
sprinkle sugar on the flowers and let them dry.
I used an ice cream scoop and plopped the frosting on each cupcake. You can use just a spoon or a piping tip to frost the cupcakes.
Garnish with crystallised petals.