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!
Found a forgotten package of dried chrysanthemum flowers in my store cupboard. The cooling effect of the chrysanthemum tea is perfect for the summer. I wish I found it much earlier. The weather was rather hot (but nice) during the last couple of weeks.
The initial idea was to make some chrysanthemum tea jelly, but once the jelly was set, I thought it looked rather like "Ice Jelly" - "愛玉冰". a refreshing cool dessert with lime juice syrup that you can get in Asia. The slight bitterness of the chrysanthemum tea would make a perfect complement to the lime juice syrup. A very refreshing experiment of chrysanthemum tea jelly and lime juice syrup!
To make this dessert, you will need:
To make the tea, firstly wash the flowers and then boil them in a pan of water for at least 5 minutes until you get a beer yellow colour consistency. Drain the tea with a sift. Add the sugar. Measure about 400ml tea and add the gelatine. Stir well until the gelatine is fully dissolved in the liquid. Pour the liquid to a container and let it set for use later. Then cool it in the fridge for 1hr.
- A large generous handful of dried chrysanthemum flowers. (Washed)
- About 1 litre of water (to produce approximately 400ml tea)
- 1 Sachets of gelatine (depending on how hard you would like the jelly to set)
- Few large tablespoonful of sugar (to taste)
For the lime juice syrup, squeeze the juice of one lime. Measure the lime juice. Add one portion of the juice with two portion of the same amount of water to the juice in a pan and add 2 large tablespoonful of sugar. Boil the syrup mixture for at least 5 minutes. And then set it aside to cool down.When the jelly is set, cut or scope it out into a bowl and add few tablespoons of the lime juice syrup to the jelly. Done!
Excellent to serve this dessert cold during a hot summer day...
This a ch"easy"t way of making ice cream without ice cream maker. I actually can't see why do we need an ice cream maker. (*) The process of making ice cream is quite simple. Firstly, you have to prepare the custard whether you have an ice cream maker or not. Without an ice cream maker, you pour it to a freeze proof container and put the custard uncover in the freeze for an hour or so until the edge of the custard starting to harden. Take it out and put the semi-frozen custard in a large bowl, and whisk it thoroughly. Pour the mixture back to the container (**), cover, and freeze it until the ice cream is ready to be served.
For this easy to make raspberry ice cream, you need:
- 300ml double cream
- 150ml single cream
- Concentrated raspberry juice (Cook the frozen raspberry (±200g) with a squeeze of 1/2 lemon juice and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the raspberry totally broken up. Strain the juice with a strainer, and discard the seeds. Pour the juice back to the pan and cook until the juice thicken.) Set aside to cool.
- 1/2 cup of syrup (dissolve some sugar with some water and bring it to a boil), to taste. Set aside to cool.
First whisk the double, single and syrup in a large bowl until they form soft peak and hold it own shapes. Add 1/2 of the raspberry sauce to the mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture to a freezer proof container and put it to the freezer uncover. Follow as described above (*)....(**) After the second whisk, pour the remaining raspberry sauce to the cream mixture and use a knife gently swirl it into the cream mixture.
Ice cream making without the maker! Enjoy!
Orange and Fennel Salad with Almond Flakes and Goat's Cheese
This is a special recipe request from my dear friend, Cecelia from the "Middle Earth" A.K.A Auckland. She "whatsapp" me asking (in the middle of the night (UK time)) me to think of a very simple vegetarian salad recipe for her to prepare for a dinner party she is going..She suggested something with eggs and avocado etc...but I think it would look dull and uninspiring with those ingredients. Furthermore, the avocado will discolour rapidly and by the time she gets to her dinner party the salad would look quite sad!
I am the kind of person, if you presented me with a problem, I have no choice, but to find you a solution! After the conversation with Cecelia, instead of going back to sleep, I kept thinking about what can I teach her to make for her dinner party. Something that is so simple to make, but would make a beautiful impression to her friends at the dinner...
I have a vision of something elegant and refreshing...(I was actually thinking of a dish that represents the personality and character of Cecelia!) She is an elegant lady, and very colourful character..I want to teach her to make something that requires very little cooking skills, something with limited colour palette...and predominately white...
I think an orange and fennel salad would be a beautiful starter for her dinner party!
To make the salad, you will need the followings:
- 2-3 Medium or large orange (or grapefruit if you prefer some strong flavours) - cut away the skin and separate the flesh. Set aside in a bowl. Squeeze the orange juice from the remain of the oranges in another bowl.
- 1 large fennel bulb - thinly sliced (keep it fresh by putting the sliced fennel in a bowl of cold water and half of the lemon juice.) (Drained the fennel from the water completely just before you assemble the salad)
- A generous handful of red radishes - washed and sliced to rounds
- A small bunch of flat leave parsley - thinly sliced (if the fennel bulb comes with it feathery leaves, keep it as the garnish)
- Goat's cheese - break into small chunks
- A Generous handful of almond flakes
- 1 tbsp Honey (or sugar)
- 1 Lemon (use half of the juice for the fennel soaking water, and the other half for the salad dressing)
- Salt (to taste) for the salad dressing
- 2-3 tbsp Olive oil
First, prepare the salad dressing. In a bowl, mix the orange juice, olive oil, salt and honey. Whisk thoroughly. Add a pinch of the sliced parsley leaves. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Set it aside.
Put the orange segments, drained fennel slices, sliced red radishes and parsley in a large salad bowl. Pour the salad dressing and gently coat everything with it.
In a large white serving plate, layout the orange and fennel salad artistically...with all the different colours distributed evenly. Sprinkle generously the almond flakes and goat's cheese. Garnish with the fennel leaves (or parsley leaves).
DONE! So simple! IT is a perfect colour combination for these dull and grey Autumn days. The refreshing taste and colours on the plate will really brightening up your day, I am quite sure about it!
I was thinking this morning, it must be very pretty if I can use beetroot to make some coloured pasta! The result is rather exciting. Indeed, I made some beautiful red pasta..(it will be revealed tomorrow!)
So I used the left-over beetroot pasta dough to make these "papadum". They are equally pretty. Such an exciting colour on the plate..
I was wondering what can these beetroot "papadum" go with....maybe goat's cheese and chilli and tomatoes condiment?! YUMMMM...Together they tasted really nice...the slight earthiness of the beetroot works well with the goat's cheese. The saltiness and creaminess of the cheese complement perfectly with the sweetness and spiciness of the chilli and tomatoes condiment!
How boring can it be when a plate of food lack of colours!
Really love the colour of these red cabbage rice. The deep purple colour really complement nicely the orange-y pork curry.
To make the red cabbage rice, simply add generous amount of the sliced red cabbages into the half cooked rice then let them cook until the rice are ready to serve.
I think we should introduce more natural colourings on our plates. Such a lovely colour combinations...It will really excite our appetite and encourage us to eat the variety of food!
Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Bruschetta
YUM YUM YUM!
I am not sure it is because the bread for the bruschetta is freshly baked homemade bread or because it is a pear cider bread, these beetroot with goat's cheese Bruschetta are really delicious, and colourful! The bread is really crunchy and so as the toppings. I will have this as starter at my (future!) restaurant.
Ingredients (for the topping) : make 2 bruschetta
- 2-3 Generous tbsp diced beetroot
- 2 Tbsp diced celery
- Half of a tomato (roughly chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp Wholegrain mustard
- Goat's cheese (to taste)
- Sprinkle of dried mixed herbs
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Olive oil
Mix all ingredients together (except goat's cheese) in a small bowl. Set aside.
Bake the thickly sliced bread in the oven (around 180"C) until the outer layer is lightly crispen. Remove the bread from the oven and brush some olive oil to the slices. Top it with the vegetable mix and drop some goat's cheese on top of the vegetable. Sprinkle some dried herbs over and return to the oven to melt the cheese. (rou 5mins).
Just before serving, sprinkle some olive oil over the bruschetta and served warm. YUM YUM YUM!
Roast Pork Belly with Mango Relish
Something simple for the summer? But the Summer days are now far gone..The weather is turning cold and wet....and grey...However, we can always make our food look summery..
The last "harvest" from this year's vegetable "garden"..well actually it is the "thining-out"of the salad leaves seedlings from the various pots by the window sill. Nothing beats the fresh "spring" vegetable....
The mongo relish compliment very well with the roast.
For the mango relish, I shredded half of an unripe mango. Mix it well with 1 tbsp black pepper syrup
, and home-made rose hip chilli jelly. Keep it in the fridge for later.Marinade ingredients for the Pork Belly (One generous slab):
- Caraway seeds
- 1 juice of lemon
- 1 zest of lemon
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Few sage leaves
Break the caraway seeds in a mortar and pestle. Mixed all ingredients together and marinate the pork for at least 1 hr.
Pre-heat the oven to 180'C. Once the pork is ready, roast it on a roasting tin with wire rack for around 90 minutes (or until the pork is cooked, depends on your oven!)
At the last 10 minutes, brush generous amount of rose hip chilli jelly (or honey) on the skin of the pork, and roast for 10 minutes. When ready, remove from oven and wrap with foil and set to stand for 15 mins.
Serves the pork with cold mongo relish and spring vegetable salad...Nice summery and colourful dish for winter!