Month: June 2011

Fluffy White Coconut Cupcakes

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I love coconut.  It’s actually pretty versatile if you think about it.  Typically, you put it in things like cakes, or granola, or macaroons.  But you can use it in a bunch of other things like soups, coconut shrimp, salads, coconut rice, puddings. . . well, you get the point.  Now this recipe is for something pretty standard, but still so good.  How can you go wrong with a Coconut Cupcake?  They are sweet and decadent and always seem to please a crowd, especially when paired a nice Fluffy White frosting (which is also called a Seven-Minute frosting).

For a nice short cut to get to this recipe you could:  1.  just use the yellow cake recipe that I had posted earlier but cut it in half, 2.  replace the milk with coconut milk, and 3.  add 1/2 c. shredded coconut to the dry ingredients.  But for this recipe, a little tweaking had to be made.  You have to add a little bit more flour to help stabilize the cake; the addition of the shredded coconut changes the structure of the cake.  Plus, I rounded up the amount of coconut milk to 3/4 c.  If you just use half the yellow cake recipe it would call for 5/8 c of the milk.  It just works better logistically (I don’t have an 1/8 c. measure).  Plus, with the increase in the flour, the extra liquid is still absorbed well.  It’s the same case with the sugar, but since you have to cream the sugar and the butter together, you have to increase the amount of butter in as well.  All slight tweaks, but (as you can see) there’s a reason for everything.  This makes about 24 cupcakes.  Now here’s what you need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut (plus more for the topping)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a standard sized muffin pan with paper liners.

2.  Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder) into a medium-sized bowl.  Add the shredded coconut.  Mix and set aside.  In a measuring cup, combine the vanilla extract and the coconut milk.  Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar.  Mix for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4.   Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the coconut mixture and starting and ending with the flour.  Mix until well blended, but don’t over mix.

5.  Fill the lined cups about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pans.

6.  Pile on the frosting and top with the shredded coconut.  Cupcakes should be good for about 5 days unfrosted and 3 days with frosting.

For the frosting:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 T. corn syrup
  • 1/2 t. cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

1.  Mix together egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and salt.  Whisk for about a minute until frothy.

2.  Over a double boiler, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the mixture gets to 160 degrees F.  Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture until cool and forms stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes (hence the term Seven-minute frosting).  Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Notes — If you can find it, use some of the large flake coconut.  It adds a nice touch and makes it a little bit more special.  You can just keep it white to keep with the color palette or toast it for a nice contrast.  One of these days, I might try this using some whole wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour adds a nice nuttiness to the flavor, but it also changes the consistency of the dough.  Probably would be good to use a combination of wheat flour and cake flour instead of the all-purpose flour.  Also, using a chocolate cake batter would be nice and tasty version.

June Foodie Holidays

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Happy June everyone!  It’s a lovely day here in SEMI, especially since it was mid-nineties hot here for the past couple of days.  Just wanted to give everyone a little heads up on what we can celebrate this month.

This year, Father’s Day and Juneteenth are both on the 19th.  But culinarily speaking, June is:  National Candy Month (here’s a nice nutritional link from Kansas State University’s Dining Services),  National Dairy MonthNational Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month,  National Papaya Month (which is also in September for some reason), and  National Iced Tea Month to just name a few.  Here are some days of interest:

1 Hazelnut cake day

2 Rocky Road day

3 Chocolate Macaroon day

7 Chocolate Ice Cream day

9 Strawberry Rhubarb Pie day

12 Peanut Butter Cookie day

14 Strawberry Shortcake day

22 Chocolate Eclair day

26 Chocolate Pudding day

I will try to keep these in mind for this month’s postings.  I still have to post some things for National Hamburger Month and National Salad Month which was last month.  Maybe I’ll save them for next year.

Michigan Wines in Food & Wine

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Michigan: In Defense of B-List Wine Country | Food & Wine.

Happy June everyone!  I’ve been out of commission for a couple of weeks cuz my computer had the flu (stupid spy ware, & thanx to Jeremy with a “y” for fixing my laptop).  But I came across this and I thought I’d share this great article about Michigan’s Wine Country.  Not too shabs to get a right up in Food & Wine magazine!  Much in the same way that California wines proved that great wine doesn’t have to be made in France, Michigan wines show that great American wines don’t need to be made in California.  I actually made it up to some of the wineries that they mention in the article like L. Mawby and Black Star Farms.  Hope to make it up to the Old Mission soon and check out some of those wineries.

This is an aside, but if you want to learn more about the whole uprising of the California wines against the European elite, check out the movie Bottleshock.  Sure, you can learn about it in books and stuff, but you know what I like about the movie? — no reading!!!  It stars Alan Rickman, who most people will recognize as Professor Snape of Harry Potter fame. . . or the bad guy from the first Die Hard movie.  Bill Pullman’s in it, too, plus the new Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine.