Where I work I have a gourmet foodie that I like to throw ideas at...he's my Jeffery Steingarten of sorts (you know the cranky judge on Iron Chef?). When I told him the ingredient for this month's Iron Cupcake challenge, he told me I was being ridiculous. And once I brought in the cupcakes...he resinded that remark! I'll be the first to admit I was scared of this ingredient, but I was VERY pleased with how they came out! Buttermilk Pound Cupcakes w/Lemon Basil syrup cake: 1 1/4 c sugar 1/2 c shortening 1/8 t salt 3 eggs 1/3 t soda 1/2 T warm water 1/2 c buttermilk 1 1/2 c flour 1 t vanilla Oven at 325 degrees. Cream sugar, shortening and salt. Add eggs, one at a time. Dissolve soda in warm water, then add to mix. Add and beat in buttermilk and vanilla. And and beat in the flour. Since this is poundcake and not your typical fluffy riser cupcake, I filled 3/4s of the way full. Baked for about 25 minutes. (until toothpick test was clean) Let cool. Lemon Basil syrup 1 1/4 c sugar 1 1/2 c water 1/2 c lemon juice 8 springs basil Cook mixture in saucepan until sugar dissolves (don't let boil). Spoon syrup over cooled cupcakes. I poked holes in the tops of my cupcakes with a fork and applied the syrup liberally. Topped then with Fresh Whipped cream (heavy cream, 4 T of powdered sugar, and about a T of the lemon/basil syrup). It's up for a vote! And if I win, I get a bunch of cool prizes!! An awesome cupcake ring from Metal Sugar, a Cupcake Courier (I REALLY need one of these!!), a snazzy Jessie Steele apron, 2 new cookbooks (like you can ever have too many!) from Taste of Home and Hello, Cupcake, and some really cute Head Chefs from Fiesta products! To help me win go to The Cupcake Queen's site starting September 28th (through October 1st) and vote for me!!