These little delights are more than just miniature cakes baked in cases. Cupcakes possess superpowers – they turn frowns upside down, and they can brighten the day. With the cupcake case as a cape and frosting prepared to dazzle admirers, it’s a treat that is adored by virtually everyone. I’ve been thinking of having a cupcake for a while now, and I finally acted on the idea by visiting a famous cupcake chain in the island, Twelve Cupcakes, for my cupcake fix.
The cupcake that grasped my attention the most is the ‘raspberry lychee rose’ (it’s a tongue twister if you say it three times fast) cupcake. It’s a special item too, as it’s only available in February. I was intrigued with the trifecta of ingredients they chose to feature in the cupcake, and I soon learnt about how the trifecta’s existence. Wearing my sleuthing cap, I began researching the cupcake’s background. While I don’t have the answers to how Twelve Cupcakes was inspired to create the cupcake, I did learn about the flavor combination.
I soon discovered a whole new world – the realm of Ispahan. The equation of ‘raspberry + rose + lychee’ sums up to this flavorful world. The concept is closely linked to a famous French pastry chef, who has inspired others to try the flavor combo in various desserts. Macaron, panna cotta, pavlovas – the possibilities of applying ispahan to desserts are endless! Ispahan is named after a rose, which is most definitely fitting, considering that most of these desserts exude floral vibes.
With that in mind, I was excited to try Twelve Cupcakes’ cupcake. It appears to be quite modest, with a soft pink frosting sitting on top of a vanilla-looking cupcake. As I was snapping pictures, it wasn’t possible to not admire the delicious creation!
As last, it was time to take a bite into my delectable cupcake. The part that surprised me the most is the cupcake’s color once you cut (or bite) into it – a lovely shade of pink greeted me! The cupcake itself is soft and it melts in your mouth. Flavor-wise, rose is quite powerful, followed by a light lychee flavor. The raspberry’s flavor notes were very subdued. Its taste, to me, has a reminiscence to bandung, which is one of my favorite Southeast Asian drinks that comprises of rose syrup and condensed milk (it has a pretty milky pink color too!). Nevertheless, I enjoyed my cupcake as I love the rose flavor that shines in a good, freshly-made bandung (although I couldn’t detect condensed milk as an ingredient in the cupcake).
The swirl of cream on top has a light rose flavor too – which results in rose being the leading star in the cupcake, with lychee and raspberry assuming supporting and minor roles. Overall, this cupcake’s soul is full of flower power and I’m glad I chose to try it, although a little more lychee and raspberry would make it a notch better!