Yes the title does read Meetha Paan Cupcakes but seriously don’t be alarmed as it is a tried, tested and cherished sensation. Paan is a mouth freshener made with the preparation of betel leaf in combination with other ingredients and tobacco. Paan is commonly chewed in Asia and countries where Asian population is present. In Kenya, we had a towering tree which was Paan growing in the front garden of our bungalow. The memories of my dad visiting the local restaurants where he used to get his paan from are still very vivid, I used to eagerly watch how they made paan, ingredients they put in and how they used to fold it. From then on I returned home and made a pretend “Paan Shop”, well we had fresh paan, for the gulkhand paste I used red paint and for the filling I used seeds and fresh rose petals, playing this for hours at a time amused me, to be honest creative play and imagination was the way forward as we didn’t used to have the type of toys you can now pick up from toy stores or supermarkets.
Paan can be made with or without tobacco and with a variety of fillings depending on what tickles your taste buds or the part of Asia you are from. My first interaction with meetha paan was around the age of 9 and I absolutely adored it, especially the sweet sauce seeping through every bite, the green leaf has a sharp taste but the sweet sauce, crunchy coconut and sugar coated fennel seeds balances the taste on your palate. .The idea of Meetha Paan cupcakes was concocted in my head a few years ago and I had also made it but never really went back to it till I started this blog. In these cupcakes I have ensured that all the flavours are in proportion and well balanced to provide you with the sensational paan flavour and scent in every bite. The ingredients list is long and so is assembling it but don’t let that put you off, honestly you can wow your guests with these sweet and delightful cupcakes. Over the years I have met individuals who consume the sweet filling of paan but not the leaf itself as it makes their throats would tickle so this is a great substitute. The added bonus to these cupcakes is they are egg less and made using fat free greek yoghurt, so with a healthy thought why not serve these as an after dinner treat on Diwali.
Meetha Paan Cupcakes
Preparation Time including assembly: 30 -40minutes
Baking time: 25 mins
Cooling time:30 minutes
195g 0% Total Greek yoghurt
180g Self raising flour- sifted
150g Caster sugar
145ml Olive oil
1 1/4 Tsp Hira moti ( readily available in indian stores)
3 Tbsp Rose petal paste/Gulkhand (available in indian store)
30g Desiccated coconut
65ml Soda water
250g Icing sugar
140g Cream cheese full fat
Ingredients readily available at Indian grocery stores
Sugar coated fennel seeds
3 Paan pasand sweets-optional
5 Paan leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degree C or 170 for fan assisted. Line muffin tray with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, hiramoti and coconut.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients together,then add rose petal paste, Greek yoghurt, oil and soda water and mix until all ingredients incorporated and no lumps present.
4. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop the batter into cupcake cases.
5. Place muffin tray in the oven and bake for 25 mins. An inserted skewer should come out clean.
6. Once baked, transfer the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool down.
7. To make the frosting, first beat the butter and sugar together, then add cream cheese and whisk to get a smooth frosting. Do not over mix or else your frosting will become runny.Chill the frosting for 10-15 minutes.
8. For the decoration first take the paan pasand sweets and crush in a pestle and mortar into a powder with a few chunky pieces. For the leaf shape, take a paan leaf and cut out small leaf shapes.
9. To assemble: fill a piping bag with a large round nozzle tip and frosting. Take each cake and pipe around the cake starting from outside and finishing inside. Take some sugar coated fennel seeds and sprinkle over the frosting, do the same with crushed sweets and finally finish off with paan leaf.
1. If you don’t have a piping bag and nozzle you can use a food bag and snip the corner. Alternatively you can spread icing with a spoon.
2. If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, use a tablespoon.