I'd like to know if I can use fresh mint in chocolate cupcakes instead of using essence. I have so much beautiful mint in the garden, but I can't find any cake recipes that use it. Will it work? Is there a technique to it? Is the flavour strong, as the scent is really strong?
Homemade Mint Extract
To make mint extract, obtain a pound or so of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves (harvest them at noon time on a sunny day), wash them well and crush/bruise the leaves. Add these to a quart sized canning jar of vodka and place in the sun. Using a piece of well-washed, new cheese cloth, strain (and discard) the leaves from the infusion after three to four weeks. This is a family recipe.
Here is a recipe from Cooking Light (I have not used it yet however)
12-14 tablespoons fresh or 6 teaspoons dried, well crumpled mint, peppermint, or spearmint leaves or 2-3 teaspoons pure mint or peppermint extract
3 cups vodka
1 teaspoon glycerine (optional) but nice for sipping
1 cup simple syrup*-see below (for creme de menthe add 2 cups)
With fresh or dried leaves: steep the leaves in vodka for 10 days and shake the bottle occasionally. Strain and filter. Be sure to press all the juices from the leaves with a spoon against the strainer. Mature 2 weeks. With the extract: combine all ingredients. Shake well. Mature 24 hours minimum. A week or 2 will enhance the flavoring. If any of these recipes results in too weak a mint flavor, add more of the extract or leaves and repeat the steeping, straining, and maturing procedures. Should any globules of oil form on the surface of the liqueur, remove with a bit of blotting paper or paper toweling, dabbing them gently. Seal in a decorative decanter.
A sugar syrup is made of two parts sugar and one part water, boiled together for about five minutes until the sugar dissolves. It is then cooled and added to the flavored alcohol.
Recipe from: Homemade Liqueurs by Dona and Mel Meilach (Contemporary Books)
Hope this helps!
I hope this isn't too simplistic, but can you use it as a nice garnish on top of the cupcakes?
You could use it for a leaf to accompany a cute little fondant or BC flower too.
thanx guys for your response. Definitely worth trying.