Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Chocolate and coconut cupcakes

Last week I found myself in the chocolate section at the supermarket. Nothing unusual for me since I wanted to stock up on dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa solids, and hoping that by some miracle I would find something higher than 70% this time (85% cocoa solids, anyone?) While studying the chocolates and desparing over the fact that one 72% dark chocolate also contains almonds (obviously no good for me since I'll be melting and using the chocolate in cupcakes and frosting) my eyes caught the summery white and blue cover of a bar of Bounty chocolate. Suddenly I remember that I once had an idea of creating a Bounty-like cupcakes, i.e. combining chocolate and coconut! I love coconut, so when some family members had their name's day I already knew what cupcakes to make - chocolate and coconut cupcakes; sounds yummy, doesn't it?

I made my usual chocolate cupakes replacing the milk/buttermilk with coconut milk, made a chocolate buttercream icing and decorated with desiccated coconut. I originally left it to my husband to judge the successfulness of these and although he claimed that you could taste the coconut milk in the cupcake I wasn't sure if he was being entirely honest with me...

Clearly I had to taste them myself. The cupcake came out a bit darker than usual and although it had a nice taste to them, the cake itself didn't have any coconut flavour at all! Big disappointment. I also found that the cake crumbled a lot quicker than usual, so next time I might try to mix some coconut cream powder with milk to get a stronger coconut flavour or make a simple vanilla-coconut base and pairing it with the chocolate buttercream. I might even add some desiccated coconut in the frosting for more coconut.

So my verdict is that although they were good chocolate cupcakes, they crumbled too quickly and the coconut flavour was hardly there. A lot of room for improvement!

However, luckily enough, they at least looked pretty nice!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Strawberries and malteser cupcakes

Sounds like a strange mixture, doesn't it? Well, unluckily or luckily (depending on your taste!) this is not one cupcake, but two. Strawberry cupcakes and malteser cupcakes. Yes, I was a bit busy this weekend!

I had a small BBQ with friends on Saturday to celebrate my birthday some 10 days late. We have beeen talking about having a BBQ for years now, but never gotten around to it, but now we finally managed to get our act together! The occasion clearly needed cupcakes!

The supermarkets are filled with strawberries as of late and since strawberries are one of my favourite fruits it was only natural that I made some strawberry cupcakes! Last year I made these for a friend:

Strawberry cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and a strawberry and toffee crown decoration

They were really good, but I wanted to have a frosting that contained strawberry and vanilla to get a strawberry cream taste, so I used the cinnamon frosting I used for the red velvet cupcakes without the cinnamon and added some strawberry puree. Next time I want to use a bit more puree to get a stronger pink colour and add some extra vanilla in the puree to make use of the full strawberry flavour. I find that the strawberries in the supermarkets aren't sweet enough here compared to the lovely Norwegian strawberries, so sugar or vanilla brings out the taste of the strawberries.

I also created my very own recipe for Malteser cupcakes. Ever since I saw on Baked's fanpage on Facebook that they had a photo of a malteser cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery in London I decided that was a flavour I had to try to create. I mashed some Maltesers and added to a chocolate batter I created and the result was very moist and chocolately flavoured cupcakes. I couldn't find normal malt milk powder in the shop so used an instant chocolate malt drink powder, I guess it didn't make too much of a difference, but they did taste different from my normal chocolate cupcakes.

The frosting somehow got more compact and harder than I expected so I was very unhappy with the frosting this time, it was actually difficult to squeeze it out from the nozzle. Will keep that in mind till the next time!

As a birthday gift from my parents I got a cupcake stand which I finally got to use. Unfortunately I took the photos in a hurry and didn't think of moving all non-cupcake items out of the frame, so this isn't a very good picture. I think I'll blame the Pimms for the forgetfulness!