Coconut Cupcake with Mango Buttercream
This is an improved version of my "award winning" mango and coconut cake for Brighton "Bite Off". The order of the ingredients were totally re-shuffled to give these cupcakes a more elegant and contemporary look. These cupcakes also my first "official" order for a party! Still a lot of room for further improvement!
Really love the refreshing colours, rather attractive with those bits of freeze dried raspberry and mango. The drizzle of mango puree add not only colours, but also adding further intense flavour of the mango and a hint of fragrance passion fruit.
To make the coconut cupcake base, you will need the following ingredients: (to make at least 12! if you didn't over-fill the cups!)
- 225g Self rising flour (sifted)
- 275g Caster sugar
- 110g desiccated coconut
- 125g melted butter
- 3 Eggs (lightly beaten in a cup)
- 125ml full fat milk
- 1/2 tsp coconut essence
Pre-heat the over to 180'C. Line the cupcake tin with your favourite cupcake lining. (I really like the overall colour coordination of these cupcakes! Pretty and refreshing!)
Combine flour, sugar and the coconut in a large mixing bowl, then stir in the cool melted butter, milk, eggs and the coconut essence until combined.
Fill the cupcake lining with the batter (just slightly 2/3 of the cupcake lining). Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked. (usual testing method - insert a skewer to the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, it is cooked!)
Once cooked, remove the cupcake from the tin and set aside to cool down completely before any attempt to decorate them.
For the mango buttercream, you will need the followings:
- 180g Butter (soften at room temperature)
- 3 Cups icing sugar (sifted)
- 4 tbsp Mango puree
- 1/2 Mango essence
Cream the soften butter in a large mixing bowl for 3 minutes, add the icing sugar and gently mix them to combine. Add mango puree and the essence. And beat the mixture further until light and fluffy. You may add some yellow food colouring to give the buttercream a more vibrant colour. Once done, put them in a piping bag and set aside in a cool place (or in the fridge, but make sure the buttercream is not too hard when decorating your cupcake)
To make the mango puree, just blend the mango flesh with some (a tablespoon or so) spring water in a blender until smooth. Then sift the mixture through to get rid of any lumps. Combine the puree with few drops of mango and passion fruit essences (to taste).
To assemble the cupcakes, pipe the buttercream on the cupcakes, any design as your like! Then drizzle the mango puree and sprinkle some freeze dried mango and raspberry pieces on top of the butter cream. Done!
There! Fragrance with elegance for a sophisticate party...I hope there will be more orders soon!! :-)
If you are in Brighton or London areas and thinking to have a party with some beautiful and elegant cupcakes, please give me a shout, I might be able to help you there!
Brighton "Bite Off" 2013
Redeemed myself from last year's embarrassment! My timing for baking my bread was all wrong last year. The bread looked great externally, but it was under baked! I was gutted!
So I promised myself, I must plan my bake time well for this year's Brighton "Bite Off". The event happened 2 weeks ago at Hove Lawn, along the seafront. Many different types of food stalls there during the 2-days event. Some food looked appetising, but not as tasty!
I submitted a sourdough bread and a cake for the "competition". I won first for the bread category for my red Leicester cheese with coriander and chilli and second for the cake category for my mango and coconut buttercream cake. IT was such a great fun to win 2 rosettes and not embarrassed myself!
It seems like brownies always get the first prize..2012 and 2013! I know what I have to do next year!! HAHAHA....
I have a couple of failed attempts of making croissants. It was quite some messy trials. Hence, I have never want to try to make puff pastry, they are kind of similar in the making process. Further more, those shop-bought puff pastry are much cheaper and easy to handle. But not as exciting as home-made ones.
I always refer to Delia's "Complete Cookery Course", when I want to learn some cooking techniques the proper way. This book was a Christmas present from someone whom I used to be quite close with. It is such a shame that we are now on different paths in our lives, and no longer in contact. He will always have a place in my heart.
If you can get on hold of the book, the John Tovey's Rough Puff Pastry recipe is on the page 520. Quite easy to follow.
For half of the ingredients stated in the recipe (Instead of using half margarine and half lard, I replaced them with just butter). I made 3 different types of pastries (for fun!). Few mini puff pastry croissants, few peach tarts, and some egg custard tarts. They are all quite tasty. The pastry is flaky, crisp, and light.
Very good result for the first attempt I think!
Introducing the Golden Piggy Family!
The first attempt to learn to make these Chinese mooncake inspired pastry. The pastry skin is quite difficult to make. For this trial, instead of using home-made syrup (which I have already prepared few weeks ago. According to the recipe, the freshly made syrup must not be used until it is at least 2 weeks or more old), I read from some online resources, it is OK to substitute the home-made syrup with shop-bought golden syrup. And I also use ready-made sweet adzuki bean paste as the filling for my trial. When I have mastered the whole making process, I will do it properly again with all components home-made!
The recipe book I used for this experiment was a bilingual "Moonlit Mid-Autumn Festival" by Choong Su Yin. I bought the mooncake recipe book many years ago when I was in Malaysia visiting my family. I have read it MANY times, but not gutsy enough to try to make them in the kitchen! I am still trying to understand the original recipe from the book, which didn't tell me how long to bake these piggies in the oven. The temperature of 180'C stated in the book seems way too hot for this sweet pastry dough. Maybe I should not have substituted the home-made syrup with the golden syrup? Maybe the temperature of my oven is too hot? Maybe the ready-made filling is not cooked as per instructed as the recipe?
But I am quite happy with this first attempt. The flavour is not too bad, sweet scented pastry skin. (slightly too golden syrupy!) A few more attempts to learn the process I think. I am excited!
Note: 26.01.2013 - The pastry skin soften after 2 days which make it really close to those shop-bought mooncake's texture. Really quite tasty now!
Pineapple Jam Pastry
These Pineapple jam pastries slowing becoming my signature bake! I love how the clove acts like the stalk for the fruity looking pastry. So delicate and elegant.
You will normally find this kind of pastry during Chinese New Year. Many home bakers have their own little secret recipes and different interpretations of the shape of how these pastries should look like. I have made them with apple jam before, so I shaped them round-ish to resemble the apple (Picture below - I think my baking skills have improved a lot! I made those apple jam pastries in 2009!).
For these pineapple jam pastries, I shaped them into a large almond shape but slightly rounded top and bottom part of the pastry before inserting the whole clove to the top end.
They are prefect for afternoon tea, or as little gift for a special occasions.
It is not particular easy to make these pastries. I have made the pastry dough a bit softer by adding more boiling water. This will give a very buttery and delicately lighter pastry skin.
You should prepare the pineapple jam few days ahead before making the pastry. This will allow the jam cool down and slightly thicken to the right consistency to shape them into small balls.To make the pineapple jam. You will need:
- 1 Large Pineapple. (Skinned and discard the core. Coarsely grated. Then squeeze all the juices out (don't waste it!) and set aside.) (Pineapple juice is particularly good for preventing bloating and acidity.)
- The amount of the sugar should be the same weight as the grated and drained pineapple.
- A few cloves
- 1 Cinnamon bark.
Put all the ingredients in a pot and slowly cook it over high heat for approximately 15 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook further until the pineapple jam is thicken and glossy. Let it cool down completely and shape them into small balls for later.To make these pastry, you need the following ingredients:
- 170g Plain flour
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 140g butter (cold and finely diced)
- 1 Egg yolk (lightly beaten)
- Small pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp hot boiling water
- Extra few handful of flour (for kneading)
Grease a baking sheet with butter and pre-heat the oven to 150'C.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and sugar together and then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the beaten egg yolk and the hot boiling water. Mix it to form a dough. Add a few handful of additional flour if the dough mixture is too wet. The dough should be quite soft but not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in a piece of cling film and chill it in the fridge for at least 1/2 hours.
Once the pastry is ready, roll it out into a tube. Divide the dough into equal portions. You should be able to make at least 20 pastries (depending of the size you want to make).
Roll all the divided dough portions separately into small balls. Slightly flatten each ball with your palm and then roll it out with the rolling pin. Carefully wrap the pineapple jam ball with the dough. Shape it nicely and stick one clove to the top of the dough. Place it to the greased baking sheet.
Repeat the whole process until you have make use of all the dough. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Prepare the glaze by mixing 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water together.
Brush each pastry carefully with the glaze and then chill them in the fridge for further 10 minutes.
Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 125'C and bake them for further 15 minutes. Remove the pastries from the oven and let them cool down completely on the wire rack. They should be ready!
But, for the finishing touch, if you think the pastry is a bit too pale. Once the pastries are cool, brush another layer of the glaze and bake them in 150'C oven for few more minutes until they are golden in colour.
ALL Done! Quite a long process, but it is worth it!If you would like to learn how to make these lovely pastries, let me know! I can provide 1:1 tuition or small group cooking classes arrangement at your connivence. Please get in touch here...
Satsuma Marmalade Cake
I find baking really a therapeutic process. I was really tired and a bit upset over the job interview on Friday. It went OK, but I know I could have done and explained myself better! There is no point in dwelling on the past..
When I was making this cake, I was really relaxed and focused, because I know one hour or so later, I will have a delicious cake to enjoy! All the upset will just evaporated away!
I have made the same cake but with thinly sliced satsuma topping for my friend, Chris, few weeks ago, He seemed to enjoy it. His comment was: "NICE CAKE Moist, not too sweet, very subtle flavour. WE LIKE."
I think the dark chocolate and marmalade icing toppings are good improvement from the previous cake. The satsuma marmalade's citrusy note complement very nicely with dark chocolate. I can not really remember the the process and the exact ingredients for making the marmalade, as I was mainly experimenting with some of the leftover satsuma's skin few weeks ago! I will make more of these satsuma marmalade for Christmas.For the cake, you will need the following ingredients:
- 175g butter at room temperature
- 175g unrefined golden caster sugar
- 2 satsumas
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 generous tbsp satsuma marmalade (or other shop-bought flavours)
- 175g self-raising flour (sifted twice)
First pre-heat the oven to 180'C.
Grease a loaf tin generously and then line it with baking paper. Grease generously again on the baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar and beat them until pale and fluffy. Grate the satsumas and mix the zest to the butter mixture. Break the eggs in a bowl, and lightly beat them with a fork. Pour the egg to the butter mixture in 3 patches. Beating throughly between each addition. Finally, beat in the marmalade.
Sift the flour twice. With a large metal spoon, fold in the flour gently and carefully but firmly until there is no sign of any flour. It should take less than a minute to completely mixed in the flour.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin, and lightly smoothen the top. Bake for 40 minutes, check the cake at around 35 minutes with a skewer. Insert the skewer to the centre of the cake,If it comes out clean, the cake is almost done.
Once ready, remove the cake from the oven. Prick all over the cake with the sweker. Squeeze one juice of the satsuma, and spoon the juice all over the cake and set aside to let it cool down in the tin. After that, remove it from the tin and let it cool down completely on a wire rack.For the topping 1: (Marmalade icing)
- 2 generous tbsp icing sugar
- 1 generous tbsp satsuma marmalade
Mix all icing ingredients to form a thick but slightly runny paste. Drizzle the mixture all over the cooled cake. Let it run down the sides.For the topping 2: (Dark Chocolate drizzle)
- 50g dark chocolate
- a knob of butter
Melt the chocolate on a double boiler and add the knob of butter and stir well. While it is still hot, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake. Set aside the cake to let cool.
Banana Muffin Surprise!
The basic of the recipe is from "Nigella Express" with a twist...Ingredients: (make 12)
- 3 large ripe banans
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (large) or 3 eggs (medium)
- 250g plain flour
- 100g sugar
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- homemade blackberry jam (or shop bought) (for the filling, "the surprise")
Preheat the oven to 200'C. Lined muffin tin with muffin papers. Mash the banans and set aside. Mix and beat oil and eggs in a separate bowl. Mix all dry ingredients and then pour the egg mixture in and mix well. Add the mashed bananas and combine well.
Place equal amount of the mixture to the muffin paper (half full), then spoon in 1 teaspoon of blackberry jam in the middle of the mixture and cover with the remaining muffin mixture.
Bake for around 20 mins. Quite simple but delicious as breakfast.
The original post was published on: Jun 30, 2010 @ 10:05. It was featured on www.foodbuzz.com/top9
Today's top 9. My very second feature post on the website. More happy memories!
These squares were for my friend, Christopher Rye - A famous musician from Brighton!
Hello Chris, I hope you enjoyed the cake...Write me a review!Chris’s review of the cakes:
The cakes were very subtle, moist and sweet but not sickly. They felt heavy but were actually light to eat. I was very impressed that you made such delicately sweet and fruity sponges. Very unusual. Good cakes!Ingredients:
- 150g butter (softened)
- 250g blueberries
- 2 eggs
- 175g caster sugar
- 175 self rising flour (sifted)
- 90ml milk
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 cup icing sugar
- Lemon juice (enough to achieve the icing consistency)
- Food colouring powder (optional)
- Lavender flowers (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190'C. Grease and base-line a square cake tin.
Whisk the butter, eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in the flour lightly until well mixed.
Add in the milk, lemon zest and blueberries, mix until all ingredients evenly combined. Spread into the cake tin and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until firm and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin. Sprinkle the lemon juice all over the top of the cake, and set aside to let it cool to room temperature.
To prepare the icing, mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick paste (not too runny), add food colouring (optional).
Once the cake is cooled, cut it to squares, and decorate each square according to your fancy. Spread the icing on top of the cake and add blueberries for decoration. Be adventurous, try decorate the squares with various fresh fruits or edible flowers.