Friday, April 6, 2007
Easter Cake Bake!
Happy Good Friday! (is it counted as Easter yet?)
A Slice of Cherry Pie is hosting the Easter cake bake and I've decided to enter this 'Avocado Cupcake with double chocolate and gula melaka coconut topping' in. EXCITING STUFF!
After Pharmacy last night, nono, this morning, I rolled into bed at 7am with every intention of putting off my baking experiment. Who knew sleeping til 4 pm could be so difficult, I eventually got up at 2pm and decided to get cracking! I was inspired by the pack of Gula Melaka that I got at the asian grocers and was dying to just do something, anything with it! Gula Melaka is basically a coconut palm sugar, very fragrant and it's a dark rich brown. The form I got it in was a rod form, wasn't difficult to cut through, just had to hack at it like I was a woodcutter. Fun I say!!!
First off, I baked the avocado cupcakes. I initially wanted to just substitute the weight of carrot in a carrot cake for the mashed up avocado but I backed out, feeling a little scared. Found this avocado cake recipe from avocado.org and decided to stop worrying about failure and do it! Made quite a few changes mainly because the recipe originally used alot of spices and nuts and raisins whereas I wanted my cupcake plain so the gorgeous coconut topping would be the showcase. The recipe below is the editted form.
I got slightly angsty and irritated while baking the cupcakes and if you are superstitious like me, you think 'this is soo gonna fail because I wasn't in the right state of mind'. HEH! prove me wrong, the cupcakes were pretty splendid, weird I might say because well, its avocado. hahaha! But hey, I love the texture of the cupcakes and the subtle flavour really does go very well with the coconut and chocolate. One huge problem I encountered was that the mixture appeared curdled at 2 stages. First was during the creaming, I personally have this silly fear of the creaming method simply because I have the tendency to make it curdle. It's just me-I swear. But I decided to brave on anyhow. Then when I added in the buttermilk mixture, the curdling just got WORSE. You should've seen my heart sink to the sole of my feet-not good. So I prepared myself for failure. HOWEVER! Once the flour was added in and whisked, it looked luscious or sorts and like it was never curdled at all. *whooopie!!*
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Mashed avocado
½ Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Baking soda
1 ½ Cups All-purpose flour
½ tsp Cinnamon
Cream sugar and butter, add the 2 eggs and avocado and mix well.
Add the baking soda to the buttermilk and add to the batter, it will appear curdled, well mine did.
Add cinnamon to flour and add to the batter all at once and mix well.
Pour into cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
Makes 10 big cupcakes
Next came the coconut topping. At this point, I still couldn't decide how I wanted to assemble the cupcakes. Should I put the topping as a fillng instead? Oh well, used the recipe for a broiled coconut topping from King Arthur's Flour and modified it again. Looked a little watery for my liking so I added in more flaked coconut. It was originally just 1 cup. The original recipe called for the topping to be placed on top of the cake and placed under the broiler until it bubbles, and I figured that wouldn't work for me. Instead I let it bubble and reduce a little in the saucepan and let it cool. It got stickier on cooling, which was fantastic.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
120g palm sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 ¼ cup flaked coconut
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the palm sugar, milk and coconut, stirring to combine until it’s golden brown and bubbling. Let it bubble for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened and not watery.
Finally, I settled on a typical chocolate ganache to accompany the whole spectrum of flavours. Seeing that I forgot to by normal dark eating chocolate from Safeway, I decided to part with my 63% Nestle Couverture Plaistowe chocolate, praying hard that it would be worth it. Turns out, Fred and I found it way too bitter and he suggested using milk chocolate instead. But being the 'cheffy' one, I had to have input and say I'd make a milk chocolate ganache but mix it with the dark chocolate one so it would still retain the rich gorgeous cocoa taste. Besides, the gula melaka coconut was sweet as it is, so it was a good decision.
Chocolate Ganache (adapted from epicurious.com)
90 ml coconut milk*
90 ml skinny milk*
100g 63% cocoa (I used Nestle Plaistowe)
125g milk chocolate
1. In a heavy saucepan, boil milks. Turn off the heat. Add chopped chocolate pieces and let it rest until melted. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until all the pieces are melted.
*180ml of full-fat milk can be used instead. I didn't taste a huge difference in using the coconut milk.
1)Fill the cooled cupcake with the 'sauce' of the coconut topping and a full teaspoon of the chocolate ganache
2) Lightly cover the top of cupcake with a little of the ganache (for chocolate goodness and aesthetics purposes)
3) Place 3/4 tablespoon of coconut topping in a heaped manner. TADAH!!!=)
OHWELL! heh, I'm a luckylucky girl. I got an Easter bunny and Easter egg. *evil chuckle* Guess what I'll be eating after this...=)