Tag Archives: Buttercream

Coconut, Curry, Basil and Cupcakes

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I’ve always been fascinated by India.  No doubt part of this is because it is an ancient nation with so much history and culture that is quite beautiful.  I’ve enjoyed exploring India through various media and hopefully someday I will be able to visit.  For now, I will just provide a nod with baked goods.

I was thinking last week about what a cupcake inspired by Indian cuisine would contain.  Curry was an obvious flavor.  But it has such a distinct flavor I wanted to add something to make it lighter and decided upon coconut.  Coconut curry is already a normal dish, so why couldn’t it work as a cupcake!?

The one tragic side of my decision to make this cupcake cake is that I can’t actually eat Indian food, the smell of the spices make me nauseous, especially the smell of curry.  So I spent a bit of time trying to get accustomed to the scent and then finally just decided to hold my breath. [I also went with a Thai curry paste, which surprisingly didn’t bother me as much!]

It was a risk well worth it!  These cupcakes are wonderful.  The coconut plays well with the curry.  It is not an overly sweet cupcake either, which is nice.  I decided to make a chocolate basil buttercream for the icing.  It provides a nice cleansing herbaceous mix to the curry.  So if you have fears the spiciness of curry will kick you, the chocolate basil buttercream rectifies said situation.

You are probably also thinking, basil buttercream?  I know, it sounds weird.  But seriously, it is amazing.  I have never loved a buttercream more than this one.  I don’t actually like icing, I find it generally overpowering for most baked goods.  But this one?  I’m tempted to eat it without a cake to put it on.  The buttercream is more invovled than a regular recipe, so you will want to start making it before you start the cupcakes and then finish it while the cupcakes are cooling.

So how does one make this dessert?

Whatcha’ll need for the cupcakes:

½ cup – coconut flakes
1 ¾ cup – flour
1 ½ tsp – baking powder
½ tsp – salt
¾ cup – butter, softened
½ cup – sugar
½ cup – brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup – coconut milk
1 tsp – curry
½ tsp – thai red curry paste
½ tsp – paprika

Mix it together:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, brown sugar, curry powder, curry paste and paprika together.  Cut butter into pieces and mix in to flour mixture using a beater.  Beat in eggs.  Beat in coconut milk.  Mix in coconut flakes.  Spoon into cupcake tray.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.  (Makes 24 cupcakes)

Now on to the chocolate basil buttercream!

Exactitudes for Happiness:

1 ½ cups – coconut milk
⅓ cup – heavy cream
1 cup – fresh basil leaves, packed
1 ½ cups – sugar
⅓ cup – flour
1 ½ cups – butter, soft and cut in pieces
1 tsp – pure vanilla extract
¼ cup – cocoa powder

Blending Together for Splendor:

Combine milk, heavy cream and basil in a saucepan.  Heat until simmering, then remove from heat.  Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Remove from refrigerator.   Remove the basil leaves from the milk mixture, squeezing the leaves to add any excess juice to milk mixture before discarding basil leaves.

In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and sugar.  Add the basil milk mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened (around 10 minutes).

Transfer mixture to a bowl — if you have  stand mixture this process will be much easier, if not, a bowl and beater will work.  Beat mixture on high until cool (around 10 minutes).  Reduce speed to low and add butter, one piece at a time.  Mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).

Add the vanilla and cocoa powder and continue mixing for 1-2 minutes.  If the mixtures seems too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill and beat again until is the correct consistency.

Top cupcakes with frosting and add a bit of coconut flakes as garnish.

Enjoy!

T.G.I.F.

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In celebration of Friday’s I have a wonderful cupcake worthy of any celebration — and not to worry, it is safe for kids to consume, the alcohol is either baked off or in such small quantities it does not have any lasting affects.  You could alter the recipe to create a more significant affect if you wanted to, your choice there!

The T.G.I.F. cupcakes are a chocolate & Irish cream liqueur chocolate cupcake with a Kirschwasser ganache filling with an Irish cream buttercream.  This lovely confection came about one Thursday afternoon as I was making lunch and considering baking a treat for a weekend out with a friend.

What you’ll need:

Time – these cupcakes can be very time consuming, if you don’t have a couple of hours to spend  I’d suggest either making them in phases (bake the cupcakes, do the ganache the next time and finish off with icing some other time) or wait.

Irish Cream, Chocolate liqueur, and a whiskey or schnapps – you don’t need a lot, but you’ll need to have a least a cup of Irish cream and chocolate liqueur and a couple of tablespoons of the schnapps/whiskey hanging around.  Kirschwasser is just a cherry brandy

Piping bag/couplers/tips – okay so you might have your own way of inserting the filling, but I find it easiest to use icing tips and bags to fill the cupcakes and to frost them.  It makes for quick work.

As a note: I do have a cake recipe, but I’m lazy and always grab a cake mix.  If you want the recipe, let me know, I’ll give it out.

Irish Cream/Chocolate Liqueur Cupcakes

1 – chocolate cake mix

1 – package chocolate pudding
1/2 cup – chocolate liqueur
1/2 cup – Irish cream liqueur

Follow the recipe on the back of the box to make cake.  Stir in chocolate pudding mix after fully incorporating cake ingredients.  Add liqueur and stir.   Using 1/4 cup (or 1/3 cup if using 6 cupcake pan) place batter into cupcake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle of a cupcake comes out clean.  Cool to room temperature.

Kirschwasser Ganache Filling

8 ounces – bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup – heavy cream
2 Tbsp – butter, room temperature
3 tsp – Kirschwasser(or any kind of schnapps/whiskey of your choosing) — optional

Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream until simmering and pour over the chocolate.  Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.  Add the butter and liqueur and stir until combined.

To fill the cupcakes, let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.  Using a round cookie cutter, apple corer or vegetable peeler, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes.  Go about half to 2/3 down.  Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes  in each cupcake to the top.   To add a little extra ‘uomph’ you can spread a thin layer of the filling on top (careful though, because it will be rich to taste!).

Irish Cream Buttercream

3 3/4 cups – powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) – butter, at room temperature
4 Tbsp – Irish cream (or milk or non-alcoholic Irish cream, if prefer)

In a large bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, letting it incorporate, until the butter becomes thicker and stiff.  Slowly drizzle the Irish cream (or substitute) and whip until combined.  If still too stiff, add additional tablespoon as necessary.  Using piping bag and  prefered tip, ice the cupcakes.

You can add a little extra flair and decorate the cupcakes with items of your preferences.  I added almond slivers, dark chocolate curls and a cherry on mine.  An extra bonus is that the cherry picks up the Irish cream flavour!