Monthly Archives: August 2012

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Here is the recipe for the other 50 cupcakes that I had made for fathers day. I used milk chocolate as I thought it would appeal to more people than dark chocolate. I prefer using dark chocolate. I did actually have to bake two batches of the cupcakes and I had doubled the batter below.

For the milk chocolate I used Cadbury’s dairy milk. However, when I have used valrhona dark chocolate. Make sure you chop the chocolate so it melts faster.

If you want to do something other than raspberries, I am sure that cherries and plums would work just as well. If you do use cherries you can always chop glace cherries or maraschino cherries for the topping over the icing.

Ingredients

Makes 58 mini cup cakes

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz milk (or dark) chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup raspberry jam/preserves
  • 1/4 cup fresh/ frozen raspberries (thawed)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup cake flour sifted
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt

Icing

  • 4oz dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line your muffin pan with muffing liners.

Chop the butter into small cubes to help it melt quicker. Put the cubes into a microwave safe bowl and microwave till melted. In my microwave it got done in 30 seconds. Pour in the chocolate. Let it sit for about 10-15 seconds and then stir until it is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and jam and stir to mix. Add the beaten eggs and whisk till it is all blended together.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Stir into the batter.Stir in the flour and baking

Using a cookie scoop fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pan. Once they are completely cool spoon on the icing and decorate.

Icing

Chop the chocolate and add it to the cream in a saucepan. Heat the mixture until the cream begins to boil. Take it off the heat and whisk until thick and smooth. Let it cool a little and then ice the cupcakes.

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Thai baked sweet potatoes

 

Thai Sweet Potatoes

Thai Sweet Potatoes

So this week I decided to do a Thai week for dinner.So far its worked out well. I made Thai Eggplant Curry for Monday night. It was very simple and was delicious. I was very hungry so there were no photographs but I will post the recipe soon. It took all of 35 minutes to make and was really delicious and made an excellent packed lunch the next day.

Day two menu was Thai baked sweet potatoes. I found the recipe here and made it with a few modifications. It was simply amazing and really quick too if you have baked your sweet potatoes in advance. Tomorrow I plan on making a Thai Salad.
Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger chopped fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 1.5 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 5 oz coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Method

Wash the potatoes. Pat them dry. Slice them in half. Wrap them in foil as whole potatoes. Turn on your oven to 400F (I used my toaster oven) and put the wrapped potatoes in for 45 minutes. You can test to see if they are done by opening the foil and sticking a knife in which should go through like butter. Take them out and set them aside to cool.

Make the stuffing while the potatoes are cooking. Heat the oil in a skillet. Saute the onions for about a minute. Then add the red pepper, ginger, garlic and peas and cook on medium for about 4 minutes. I like the peppers to maintain their crunchiness so I do not cook them all the way to softness. Turn off the gas and set it aside.

Once the potatoes are done. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Once cool, open up the foil and set the two half on a cutting board. Scoop out the flesh making sure to leave a 1/4 inch of potato attached to the skin. Put the flesh in a large bowl. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and use a masher to get a nice smooth puree.

Add the cooked vegetables, lemon juice and cilantro to the puree. Taste and add salt as you see fit. I added about a 1/4 tsp. Fill the potatoes with the stuffing. Put them on an oven proof tray and back in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes so that it heats through.

I served it with a cucumber salad which was just chopped cucumbers, chopped Thai basil, chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt.


Pineapple Coconut Bread

Pineapple Bread

Pineapple Bread

Well I was in Pittsburgh last week visiting friends and had the most wonderful time there. We visited falling water (the house designed by Frank Wright). It was lovely, and the property was lovely as well. I got more than my fair share of butterfly pictures on the grounds. We did eat at a wonderful Caribbean place and I visited a chocolate shop that makes all their own chocolate they also sell a lot of cadbury’s chocolate but the did not have cadbury’s chocolate spread.

On to this weeks recipe which has nothing to do with my trip. I have not made bread in a while and thought I would make a few loaves. I decided on two different ones. Here is the first one. Its with Pineapple, haha – yes I love pineapple and coconut goes so well with it – that is what happens when you always have coconut flakes hanging around the house.

A little tip here – if you are like me and never have butter sitting at room temperature waiting to be whipped to become part of an exciting treat then this is what you can do. If you butter is in the refrigerator take it out, cut it into cubes. Place on a microwave plate and microwave in short bursts of 2-3 minutes. Test after every try to see if when you press down on a cube it gives fairly easily. It should not take you more than 3 tries to get it softened. You are now ready to use your softened butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut plus some
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup heaped pineapple chunks

Method

Sift the flour, baking soda together into a bowl, drizzle in the salt and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. This takes me about 4-5 minutes on my stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat them well into the batter. Each egg should be completely incorporated before you add the next egg. The batter will be quite runny after the last egg. If you stand mixer does not have the scraper attachment make sure you scrape down the bowl after each addition. Add the one tablespoon of milk and beat just a tad to incorporate.

Now add a third of the flour, beat the mixture till it incorporated then add half of the sour cream and beat until incorporated. Repeat this once and then end with the last third of the flour. Fold in the pineapple and the one cup of coconut flakes. Pour the batter into your loaf pan (Note: I use silicone pans so I do not butter or line the pans. If you are using metal pans, lightly butter them. You may also line them if you wish).   Smooth the top of the batter and drizzle the rest of the coconut flakes over the top. This will create a nice crunchy texture.
Bake at 350F  for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove and transfer to a wire rack until completely cool. If you are not going to finish it the same day (who would not!) you can wrap it in parchment paper and then put it in a plastic bag into the refrigerator.