Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lime and Coconut Cupcakes

This is a departure from Martha's recipes. I wanted to bake today, but didn't want to go out to get ingredients. So I looked around the kitchen, and here's what I came up with: lime and coconut! I had plenty of both, plus all the staples to make vanilla cupcakes. So I altered my coconut cupcake recipe and it came out great.

These cupcakes have shredded coconut, lime zest, and lime juice in them. The frosting is lime buttercream, and it's topped with coconut chips. Makes me want a cocktail...Yum!

I was pleased with how these all came out. The cupcakes are moist and fluffy, and you can see the flecks of lime zest in them.

I tinted the frosting to emphasize the lime-ness. It's super tart, so the coconut helps balance the flavor so it's not too overwhelming.
I had plenty of frosting, so I was generous with the piping. Plus, it's so pretty!

I topped them all with coconut flakes, which will also add a bit of crunch when you bite into them. All in all, these were a great experiment, and I'll make sure to write down the recipe so I don't forget.
Yay for creativity!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Martha Challenge #42- Meringue cupcakes with berry compote

In honor of Bastille Day, I made meringue cupcakes. These were so easy and fun to make! I usually have a hard time with egg whites, but these came out perfectly and were a cinch!
It took a lot of egg whites, 6, to make one dozen cupcakes. I beat the crap out of them until they were shiny and beautiful. So pretty!
I followed Martha's instructions exactly, and piped the meringue into the prepared cupcake tins into big swoopy peaks. The meringue itself was firm and shiny and just perfect.

These baked for a long long time at a low temp, 3 hours at 225 degrees. After about an hour I rotated them and noticed they were taking on some color, so I reduce the temp to 200 degrees. After they were done, they were so pretty, firm to the touch but light as air.

If you look closely, they even seem iridescent! I left the cupcake liners on until people ate them. I served them with a strawberry-raspberry compote on the side, so everyone could dollop on as much as they like. These were a big hit! Everyone raved about them, and I was so glad, because they're a little different from what I usually make. The only thing, is you need to eat them with a fork, which is kind of beside the point of making cupcakes. But that's ok, these are fancy cupcakes and fancy cupcakes need a fork :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Martha Challenge #41- Coconut Rum Raisin Cupcakes

So, since I had leftover coconut from the last cupcakes, I wanted to use it up, and the only other coconut recipe I hadn't tried yet was this one. These are decadent!

First, you have to soak the raisins in rum. The recipe calls for dark rum, but since I only needed a little, I bought a small bottle, and the store only had gold rum. I figured it would be ok.

This recipes makes a lot of cupcakes, I got 32, even though it says it makes 36. It's a basic vanilla recipe, with the rum-soaked raisins, the rum they soaked in, coconut, and heavy cream. Yum!
They baked up quickly, after only 15 minutes, perfectly done! I was surprised at how domed they got considering there was only 1/2 tsp of baking soda in the whole recipe.

After cooling, I made the caramel-rum glaze to put on top. See? I told you they were decadent! Not sure if this turned out right, since I had a lump of hardened sugar at the end, but I just fished it out and used the glaze anyways. Wow, this stuff is strong! The rum isn't completely cooked out, so you can taste it. Whoo hooo!

So I spooned the glaze over the cupcakes and had the perfect amount. Martha says to let them set a while before serving.

I also topped a few with coconut flakes, to enhance the coconut flavor in the cupcakes. I bet these are even better after a few hours, once the glaze has a chance to soak into the cupcakes.

And the best part is, I have enough rum left over for 2 rum and cokes. Bonus!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Martha Challenge #40- Coconut-Pecan Cupcakes

Next up in the Martha installment: Coconut-Pecan cupcakes with Chocolate ganache. Yum! Her description says these are candy-bar inspired, but I don't know what candy bar that might be. Mounds?

Anyways, I had to get some special ingredients for these, since I don't have coconut anything on hand. Shredded coconut, flaked coconut, and coconut milk. The recipe also called for creamed coconut, but the people at Whole Foods didn't know what it was. So I substituted butter instead.

So the cupcakes have shredded coconut and ground up pecans, in a vanilla cupcake. They smelled great and came out perfectly, although I got only 30 instead of 36. That's more than enough anyways.
After cooling, I made the chocolate ganache and dipped the tops of the cupcakes in. I had about the perfect amount, which is rare. Then I topped them with coconut flakes. Martha says to toast them, but I forgot until I was halfway done, so I just finished up.

I got these cute cupcakes boxes on clearance and had to test them out. Love the polka dots! So summery.
Jason tried one last night and when I asked him if he liked them, he just smiled with a mouth full of cupcake and said "mmm-hmmm". So I guess that's good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Martha Challenge #39- 4th of July cupcakes

So, I was a bit tardy in making these, but that's ok. Since our 4th got rained out, I decided to make cupcakes. These are decorated as Martha suggest for this holiday, with a few tweaks.
I used a red velvet cupcake recipe, and topped them off with cream cheese frosting.

Then I tinted 2 small batches of frosting blue and red so I could pipe the flag. I didn't have the red licorice that Martha used for the flag stripes, so I just used frosting instead.

I piped the blue stars with a small star tip, and the red stripes with a small round tip. I could have been a little neater while piping, but I was starving and the pizza just came out of the oven :)
These turned out really cute, and look great all together. You know I love a theme!