Virgin Pina Colada Cupcakes

Hola!

I’m quite excited today not just because it’s the start of another weekend but for many more reasons which I will divulge later on. For now I would like to share with you a truly amazing recipe for cupcakes. These are the Pina Colada Cupcakes..Oops I meant Virgin Pina Colada Cupcakes.

It’s the last month to bask in the warmth of the sun and I’d better make most of it. Being more of a beach person which is rather ironical considering the fact that I’m scared of water. I can swim, but I still am respectful of the ocean. 😉 Anyways, this year has been different and I haven’t had the opportunity to unwind on a white sandy beach with a drink in my hand gazing at the beautiful sunset. Sigh!

DSC_0213

I cannot allow this to bring me down. I have had the happiest childhood memories incidentally of them being in summer. Well, If thou cannot go to the beach, thou shall bring the beach at home. If not the beach, at least the experience. 🙂
I have achieved what I was looking for with these virgin pina colada cupcakes! Everyone loved these and I would be lying to say that they were not DE-LI-CIOUS!!!!!! That’s how one of my friends described it. 😉

Virgin Pina Colada Cupcakes

Virgin Pina Colada Cupcakes

 

Before I get to the recipe I’d like to say that ideally I would have loved to use a coconut frosting. Why did I not?
I was under the impression I definitely had enough coconut cream and desiccated coconut at home, which I later found out I didn’t. Humph!… I didn’t have the time to take a trip to the grocery store and so I just improvised and went with what I had.

DSC_0236

Makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
100 g Butter, softened
125 g caster sugar
2 eggs
125 ml coconut cream/milk
150 g + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Cornflour
100 g pineapples, chopped

Mascarpone Frosting :
Mascarpone Cheese 125 g
Heavy Cream 100 ml (optional)
Icing Sugar 40 g
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, optional
12 cubes of pineapple for garnishing, optional

Instructions:
Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 190 C. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cornflour and keep aside. Sift 1 tbsp of flour over the chopped pineapples and keep aside.
Cream butter and sugar with an electric beater until combined. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
Add coconut cream/ milk and beat until combined.
Add the sifted flour and beat until just combined. Do not overbeat.
Fold in the chopped pineapple and spoon the batter into the cupcake liners until 3/4 full.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

It’s really easy and fun to convert them to Pina Colada Cupcakes as well!
Here’s How?
While the cupcakes are still warm, pierce several holes the cupcakes using a toothpick. Now drizzle over some coconut-flavored rum. Voila!

Mascarpone Frosting:

Beat the whipped cream until it holds stiff peaks.
Beat the mascarpone and half of the sugar until soft and creamy. Taste and add more sugar as desired.
Fold the whipping cream into the mascarpone cheese and beat until well incorporated, for a few seconds only.
Now pipe the frosting in your piping bag and decorate the cupcakes as you please.

DSC_0265

I have dusted my cupcakes with some ground cinnamon, it just makes the whole thing pop!
DSC_0322

I’m sure these would turn out good as vegan cupcakes by eliminating butter and eggs and adding pureed pineapple and a dash vinegar. Will try it out soon!

Perfect for a BBQ or Pool Party!

Perfect for a BBQ or Pool Party!

DSC_0309

I am taking these to Angie’s wonderful Friday Fiesta Party co hosted by the lovely ladies Margot and Saucy! Happy Fiesta Friday friends!

DSC_0278

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Advertisements

Chocolate Eclairs

As I was raiding my fridge today I realized I still had some of the orange mint curd leftover from Sunday. I was wondering whether it was time to toss it into the bin, but my heart did not approve of it! While i was contemplating what I should make out of it I realized that I do not have a choux pastry on my blog yet. For any baker, choux pastry is the basic, most important to master. I wouldn’t go to the lengths of saying I have mastered it, but I have a basic grasp of it.

I first tried it about 2 years back using Michel Roux’s recipe, however it did not work out as well for me. I then gave Raymond Blanc’s recipe a go and voila! I made my first batch of edible, good looking choux puffs. I always used his recipe whenever I wanted to make choux pastry and this time I thought of experimenting with a different one.
Here, I have used Christophe Felder’s recipe which is similar to Raymond’s with the exception of milk and lesser use of eggs. It is a good recipe and my second favorite now.

Here too, I have paired my orange curd with chocolate in the form of chocolate eclairs, which turned out to be a brilliant thing if I may say so myself. It leaves a subtle orange flavor back of the throat which is quite refreshing.

I have a strange weakness for these eclairs. While paying the check at a patisserie, I usually end up asking them for chocolate eclairs without even having an inkling. Maybe, it’s bred deep into my sub-conscious mind. haha
I would gorge on croissants and these bundles of joy while i was in Paris for days at a stretch as if the world was going to end 😉

Yours Truly having breakfast ;)

Yours Truly having breakfast 😉

I shall try the same recipe again and hopefully post some different version of the eclairs!

DSC_07261
Ingredients :

Choux Pastry :

125 ml water
55 g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
70 g plain flour
2-3 eggs
1 egg, for glaze

Orange Mint Curd, recipe please click here

Chocolate Glaze :

120 g dark chocolate
100 ml heavy cream
20 g butter, softened

DSC_0738

Instructions:

Choux Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 170 C (non fan). Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

For the choux pastry, place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, quickly beat in the flour until the mixture is COMPLETELY smooth.
Turn the heat down to medium, return the pan to the hob and cook for about one minute, beating all the time, or until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat in one egg at a time. For the third egg, beat it lightly in another bowl. As much as you need one spoon at a time to make a dough that is very shiny and just falls off the spoon.

Transfer the paste to a large piping bag and let the mixture to cool for about five minutes in the bag to stiffen slightly before you begin the piping. Pipe on the éclairs into 8-10 cm logs or small mounds to make profiteroles.

Bake the éclairs in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown, then transfer to a rack and leave to cool.

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Glaze :
Boil the cream in a saucepan. Meanwhile chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Add half of the boiled milk to the chocolate and whisk well. Add the remaining cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the butter.

Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolate Eclairs

Assemble the eclairs :

When you are ready to fill the éclairs, transfer the orange mint curd filling to a piping bag. Pierce the underside of each éclair 3 times with the tip of a pointed nozzle, and gently pipe a little of the filling into the éclair as you do so.

Pipe or brush the glaze onto the top of each éclair, then place in the fridge for the glaze to set before serving.

DSC_0764

There are amazing eclair festivals in Paris which I am so keen to experience… hopefully, some day! 🙂

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit

DSC_0783

Celebrate International Chocolate Day with Chocolate Raspberry Garland

I cannot imagine what life would have been without chocolates! The decadent, rich chocolate as we know it today has a humble past, being used as fermented alcoholic beverage cultivated during the Mesoamerican civilization about 3000 years ago. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were a Gift of God and used them as a form of currency. It was only in the 16th century after the Spanish conquered the Aztecs, it was served as a court beverage for the first time in Europe and spread across the continent, available only to the elite. It took another two centuries for cocoa powder to be invented and the humble cacao been has since been transformed and used in a lot of different ways!

An Aztec woman generates foam by pouring chocolate from one vessel to another. Pic Courtesy: Wikipedia

An Aztec woman generates foam by pouring chocolate from one vessel to another. Pic Courtesy: Wikipedia

Everyday is chocolate day and we need no special day to celebrate this gift of god. However, we can always use an excuse to gorge on chocolate, it being International Chocolate Day today, i’ve tried to use chocolate in its pure form without messing around too much!

Chocolate Raspberry Garland

Chocolate Raspberry Garland

Chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven and a great way to start the week.. 😉

DSC_08671

Makes 6 serves
Ingredients :
Chocolate Cupcake :
1/2 banana, chopped
50 g chocolate (60% cocoa)
55 g butter
2 eggs
75 g sugar
30 g all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

Chantilly Cream :
100 ml whipping cream, chilled
10 g icing sugar, sifted
vanilla extract, 1/2 tspn

Raspberry Coulis :
100 g frozen raspberries/ strawberries
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Chocolate Sauce :
200 g chocolate (60 % cocoa)

For Plating :
Raspberries

Instructions :

Chocolate Cupcakes :

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a muffin pan and dust with cocoa powder.

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Lightly whisk in the melted butter and chocolate.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the batter and beat until combined.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling them one-third. Insert chopped banana pieces. Spoon in more batter until two-thirds full.

Bake for about 12 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry coulis :

Bring all ingredients to the boil and simmer until soft. Blend until smooth and strain through a fine sieve and chill until required.

Chantilly Cream :
Keep the bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes. Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla essence until soft peaks form.

Chocolate Sauce :
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
DSC_0881

Plating :
Smear coulis across the plate.
Dip the base of the cooled cupcake into melted chocolate. Place chocolate side up over the coulis.
Pipe three rounds of Chantilly cream on one side.
Line raspberries in a circle on the edge of the plate and drizzle the melted chocolate over the raspberries.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!