Monday, April 30, 2012

Challenge No 4 - Creamy Coconut Cupcakes with Peach Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I have had this recipe on Haniela's Blog open on my desktop for over a month starring at me, begging me to bake it. So today when Miss Two said "can we bake cupcakes Mummy pleeeeeeease"! I know I could hold out no longer.  Little did I anticipate what a hectic afternoon I would have and it momentarily slipped my mind  that Miss Two makes any baking process quadruple in time.

So with my ingredients in hand....

And a helper at the ready....

I set off to make some seriously delicious cupcakes!

Creamy Coconut Cupcakes with Peach Swiss Meringue Buttercream

(be mindful I can't stick to a recipe if you paid me so you will notice a few differences to Haniela's)

5 Tbsp Butter - room temp
3/4 cup Castor Sugar
2 Med (or 3 sml) Egg Yolks
1.5 tsp Coconut Extract (I used Lor Ann's)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cup Cake Flour (see method - you will need corn flour)
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut Carnation Milk
3 Egg Whites

Preheat oven at 180 degrees (or 160 fan forced).

First step is to separate and place the egg whites into an electric mixer and whip them on high until they are soft snow white peaks.  At this stage take a 1/4 cup of the castor sugar (leaving 1/2 cup remaining) and add gradually into the egg whites, a tablespoon at a time, beat well between each addition. Once the egg whites are ready put them into a separate bowl and set aside.

In the same bowl the egg whites were whipped in, place your butter and castor sugar (remaining 1/2 cup) in the bowl and cream them until light and fluffy.  Next add in the egg yolks, vanilla and coconut extracts, and mix them in well.

Sift the dry ingredients into another separate bowl. To make Cake Flour, measure out the cup of Plain Flour, remove 2 tablespoons of the Plain Flour and place them back in the container, replace them with 2 tablespoons of Corn Flour. Whisk the dry ingredients together lightly so the raising agent is distributed throughout.

Combine the milk and coconut milk together, pour a 1/3 of milks into the butter mixture, alternating with adding a 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix well.  Add remaining milk and then dry ingredients and continue to mix well.  When ingredients combined thoroughly, turn off the electric mixer, take the whipped egg whites ad fold gently into the rest of the mixture. Once mixed through, spoon the mixture into the cupcake wrappers 2 thirds of the way up them. Tap them on counter top to level them.

Place tray into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes : 12 medium to large cupcakes

Peach Swiss Meringue Buttercream

2-3 Egg Whites
1 cup Castor Sugar
250g Butter - room temp
Flavouring - 5 drops Lor Ann Oil

Place a saucepan of water and bring to a simmer. With egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl, place the bowl onto the saucepan, and commence whisking vigorously (preferably with a barmix or like).  Once the egg white mixture is too hot to touch, remove from the heat, tip into the electric mixer bowl, and whip for 3 minutes on high until it forms soft white peaks. cube the butter and add in one cube at a time. Ignore if it curdles, keep whipping, it will come back.  Add flavour and and colour tint finally and your ready to pipe it onto your cooled cupcakes.

Quantity should cover 12 comfortably.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Challenge No 3 – Pavlova and Lemon Curd Push Pops

Month 3 - March
Blog 3 - Bubble & Sweet -
Recipe 3 - Pavlova and Lemon Curd Push Pops -

The month of March arrived and in the very first week I had organised a High Tea Event.  And at the centre of my High Tea was going to be these gorgeous Push Pops that I got from Bubble and Sweet the Push Pop Pavlovas.  Note that Linda used Passionfruit Curd but since we have a glut of lemons and Mum is constantly telling me she needs to not waste the lemons and needs me to make curd..... well guess what I was making???

Be sure to pop over to Bubble and Sweet Blog because Linda has some beautiful sweets on her site, I get very inspired by her work and then usually tweak it for my own needs and tastes.

The main things you will need are :
Push Pop Containers (or shot glasses or glass jars)
Cutter something that cuts the meringue the exact size of your containers
A stand or box – pre plan what you are going to stand them in, as they fall easily
Electric Mixer
Oven + Stovetop


8 Egg Whites
2 ½ cups Castor Sugar
2 tsp white vinegar

Lemon Curd
8 Egg Yolks (left from your meringue)
180ml Lemon Juice
250g Castor Sugar
120g Butter – cubed (8 peices)
4 tsp Lemon Zest – finely grated

12 fresh Raspberries
300ml Thickened Cream (light option is acceptable)
2 Tbsp Castor Sugar

Meringue Method :

Preheat oven to 140 C degrees.

Place Egg Whites in the electric mixer and whip on high for at least 10 minutes, until they are white and foamy, add in the castor sugar a tablespoon at a time and mix in before adding next spoonful. Finally add in the vinegar and finish whipping when mixture is thick and white and stiff (doesn’t fall or drip off beater). Test checking if you have a “beak” of meringue when you lift up the beater. The process will take over 15 minutes in total.

Line a baking tray with foil and then line with baking paper.

Spread the baking paper with the meringue, ensure that it is evenly spread. Place tray of meringue in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes (do not allow it to brown), then turn off oven and leave it in the oven for a further 45 minutes, this process will make your meringue harden.

Lemon Curd Method :

Take egg yolks left over from the meringue (you can do this with only 4 as curd can be made in half this but I love leftover lemon curd), and place them into a medium heavy based saucepan, add in the castor sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat on medium and whisk constantly, scraping the sides continually of the saucepan. Keep up the whisking until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (this will take approximately 8 minutes). Do not let the mixture boil as this will make it go lumpy.

Once thick enough, remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in one piece of butter at a time, until smooth. Strain the curd through a sieve into a bowl. Then stir in the lemon zest and cover with plastic wrap(glad wrap), pressing it down directly onto the curd, this is necessary to ensure that a skin doesn’t form. Place into a fridge, and chill for at least 1 hour, best made a day before required.

Assembly :

Take your sheet of meringue, using your cutter that fits perfectly to your serving choice, cut at least 2 circles per serving required (I made 12 Push Pops so I cut out at least 24 circles).

Pour your thickened cream into the mixer with the whipping beater and whip on high for 5 minutes, gradually add in the castor sugar. Put cream to the side in bowl as you will be placing a spoon of this on the top of each serving.

Step 1 – Put a spoonful of curd into each container/glass
Step 2 – Place a meringue on top
Step 3 – Place a 2nd spoonful of curd
Step 4 – Place a 2nd meringue
Step 5 – Another spoon of lemon curd is optional *
Step 6 – Spoon a large amount of luscious cream on the top
Step 7 – Top with a fresh raspberry


Pavlova and Lemon Curd Push Pops are served!!! Amoungst the High Tea spread!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Challenge No 2 - Caramel Apple Doughnuts

Month 2 - February
Blog 2 - Gingerbread Bagels at
Recipe 2 - Cinnamon Apple Doughnuts

I underwent Blog Challenge Number Two for 2012, so far so good in keeping up with my New Year To Do List.  I do love Gingerbread Bagels Blog, I get her Facebook Posts and they make me drool every day. The Challenge was an easy one because I had my trusty Handy Helper at the ready with apron on and whisk in hand! Infact I seem in the last fortnight not to be able to get out my sugar or flour pots without hearing the screeching of a little chair on the floor boards, and before I can get out "No not now" she is up at the bench announcing "Im here Mummy for stirring"!

So given that we were flooded in, now I know we are in a 4 story converted warehouse unit... BUT our basement/garage was flooded which in turn flooded the 2 lift wells, which meant they were shut down and were out of order for 4 days. So trapsing up and down flights of stairs was not an option I wanted to venture on so staying indoors and baking, painting and DVDs with some R & R was the avenue I chose for Marley and Me to take. So aprons at the ready! Whisks in hand! Ready, Set.......

The first choice was Pancakes, Chocolate Cupcakes or Apple Doughnuts?? Miss Handy Helper chose Apple Doughnuts, now aren't we just the healthy one (I would have chosen the cupcakes personally!).

Cinnamon Apple Doughnuts
1 Apple - peeled, cored and diced finely (I used a Pink Lady, its a red variety but holds up in baking)
2 cups Plain Flour
3/4 cup Castor (granulated) Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cup Full Cream Milk (with a squeeze of lemon juice and rest for 5 minutes until it curdles = a Buttermilk alternative, which is my preference to the taste of Buttermilk)
2 lrg Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla (your choice of extract or essence)2 Tbsp Butter - melted

Preheat oven to 200C degrees. Grease the doughnut pan (Wilton Bake Off, Cake Release or a spray olive oil are perfect).

Sift your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. This is where you "Handy Helper" fits in and can whisk them endlessly together. This will ensure that your raising agent (Baking Powder) is evenly distributed throughout the mix, however it can also mean that your mix my be missing a few grams of dry ingredient and you may (after assessing the chair and floor) have to throw in a handful of more flour to conteract (pre-warned there are pros and cons to this exercise).

Next mix up your milk, room temp is best, using the milk and a squeeze of lemon into the a jug (leaving for 5 minutes) will create the equivelent of Buttermilk (as mentioned in previous posts I prefer the taste as I am not partial to actual Buttermilk). Pour in your milk, along with the lightly whisked eggs and have your "Handy Helper" mix them in for you.

Finally add in your vanilla and butter and mix it up well, you may need to take over the mixing from here to ensure it is thoroughly mixed in to the right consistency, and by this stage you "Handy Helper" might have given up and hit the crayons and blackboard like mine.

Now pour the mixture into each ring of your mould or tin, careful to only 1/2 to 3/4 fill otherwise you will end up with Doughnut Muffins if overfilled. Wipe the centres or sides if there is any drizzled messy mix that was misbehaved. Note - I do opt to put my mix into a Ziplock bag, then snip the corner to squeeze in, does save alot of mess.

Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, check for springiness before removing from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes and turn out of the pan whilst the doughnuts are still slightly warm.

Makes - 18-20 regular or 36 mini Doughnuts

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating :
1/2 cup Butter - melted
1 cup Castor Sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Prepare the Sugar mix but combining the Castor Sugar and Cinnamon into a small bowl, appropriate for rolling doughnuts in.  Melt butter in a seperate bowl.

Take your doughnuts one or two at a time and dip both sides into the melted butter, then sprinkle with sugar mixture, I dont recommend running them through it as I found it gets too thick and dense of a coating.

For future reference I think I will try instead of the butter and cinnamon sugar I think I will double glaze (as per Funfetti Doughnuts) but using a caramel icing glaze, I really think this would be a yummy combination with the cinnmon apple doughnut.