Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Triple Coconut Cheesecake

This is one of those recipes that has always caught my eye when flicking through my cookbooks. As I'm all about coconut at the moment I finally got around to trying it and it didn't disappoint. The recipe uses coconut cookies in the base plus a triple hit of coconut in the filling with the toasted coconut, milk and coconut rum.
I haven't made many cheesecakes, actually I think this may be my third ever and my very first baked one . I'm surprised it turned out as well as it did, I made a few mistakes on the way. I had just put the cheesecake in the oven when I glanced back at the recipe and realized I had forgotten the cornflour. I quickly pulled the cheesecake out of the oven poured the filling back into the mixing bowl and whisked in the flour. It was a little messy but it seemed to work, the cheesecake set nicely and turned out yummy and creamy. The coconut flavour was definitely there but didn't overwhelm, underneath it still had that classic cheesecake taste.
Triple Coconut Cheesecake (From Women's Weekly, Cheesecakes)

For the base
90 grams coconut macaroons (not macarons)
125 grams plain sweet biscuits
125 grams butter (melted)
To make the base- Crush the biscuits until fine, add the butter and mix in till all combined. Press the mixture over the base and up the sides of a round springform tin (the recipe asks for a 26cm tin, I used a 20cm tin for a deeper cheesecake). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the filling
250 grams cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup caster sugar
300 grams sour cream
2 tablespoons malibu (I replaced with 1 teaspoon coconut flavouring)
280 mls coconut milk
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (lightly toasted)
1/4 cup cornflour
3 eggs

To make the filling- beat cheese, sugar, sour cream, coconut flavour (or Malibu), coconut milk, coconut and cornflour in a bowl until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beat until combined.
Remove the base from the fridge. Pour the filling mixture into the chilled base and bake for one hour.
Turn of the oven and allow the cheese cake to cool with the door ajar. (I was impatient and took it out too early, causing the middle to split)
Once the cheesecake has cooled, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Spread over the chocolate topping.

For the topping
100 grams dark chocolate (finely chopped)
60 mls of cream ( the recipe uses 60 grams unsalted butter)

To make the topping- Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Place the cream in a small pan and bring to the boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate, stir until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool before spreading over the top of the cheesecake.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Carnival Cake

I am super excited to share this cake with you! I got to make this cake a couple of weeks ago for a friend from work, his little boy was turning one and they were having a carnival themed birthday party. I loved the carnival theme, my mind was full of so many fun ideas i had a hard time working out which ones I wanted to use.
I think the little elephant is my favorite part, I was so happy with how it turned out I ended making a sea lion too.
I had a vague idea what I wanted the final cake to look like, but knew all the carnival bits and pieces I wanted to have on it. All the decorations were made from fondant, except for the poles which were paper straws. ( I am in love with paper straws!)
I'm still very new to fondant modeling, but was surprised at how easy it was to make a little elephant. After making the simple shapes, I allowed them to firm up a little before pressing them together with a tiny bit of water.
I wish I had a few more pictures of the building of the cake but after the initial icing things got a little too hectic.
After a very stressful car trip ( it took hours for my arms to stop feeling like jelly afterward) we dropped the cake at the party safe and sound. The party set up was amazing, it had all the great parts of a carnival, I especially loved the circus tent dessert table backdrop.
The cake was a big hit, especially the rainbow cake surprise in the middle.
Happy First Birthday Dash!!
How cute is he munching on his giant slice of cake! (Thanks Tory for the party pictures!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Neapolitan Cupcakes

We don't have much of a winter here, there's probably only a handful of days each year you can get away with comfortably wearing a coat. I really enjoy it when it does finally get cold , most of my favorite activities are winter activities, drinking heaps of hot chocolate, wearing funny looking fuzzy socks, eating and some more eating.

One other thing I really enjoy when things get cold is icecream, I love going out for icecream on a chilly night. Now eating a frozen treats in the cold probably isn't everyone's idea of fun, but in cupcake form anyone can enjoy this icecream classic all year round.

Neapolitan was one those ice-cream flavours that always lived in our fridge, my brother and I would eat through the chocolate and vanilla flavours and leave the bar of strawberry in the middle. That was then, this is now, not one little bit of these neapolitan cupcakes got left behind. They were yummy with a capital YUM. The marble cake turned out very pretty and the buttercream flavours were delicious weather eaten all together or one by one.

For the cupcakes

125 grams butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 self-raising flour
1/3 cup milk
pink food colouring
Strawberry flavouring
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoons milk, extra

To make the cupcakes- Preheat to 180 degrees c. and line one cupcake tray with papers.

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a bowl until light and fluffy.

Stir in half the sifted flour, followed by the milk, followed by the second half of the flour. Mix until combined.

Divde the mixture evenly into three bowls. Mix the cocoa and extra milk to form a paste, stir into one of the bowls of cake mix. Add a little pink food colour and strawberry flavouring to taste to the second bowl. Leave the third bowl of mixture plain.

Drop alternating spoons of coloured mixture into the cake pans, until all the mix is used.

Using a skewer or small knife, gently pull backward and forward through the mix to make the marble pattern.

Bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer poked into the centres comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Spread the cooled cupcakes with the three colours of icing.

For the Buttercream

125 grams butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Pink food colouring
Strawberry flavouring
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoons milk, extra
Vanilla extract

To make the buttercream- Beat the softened butter in a bowl until fluffy and very light in colour. Add the icing sugar and milk and continue beating until smooth.

Divide the buttercream evenly into three bowls, colour one bowl with pink food colouring adding a few drops of strawberry flavouring. Combine the cocoa and remaining milk, mix into the second bowl of icing . Leave the third bowl of frosting white, adding a little vanilla extract to taste.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Passionfruit Cream Cupcakes

This week I was given a big bag of passionfruit and another of lemons, as a thank you I sent back some cupcakes. I was thinking of making a passionfruit and lemon sponge cake, but sponges still scare me a little. Maybe I’ll be a bit braver and give it a try next weekend.

I don’t know what I want to do with the lemons yet, but the passionfruit made some very yummy filled cupcakes.

I tweaked my go to vanilla cupcake recipe to make fluffy and moist passionfruit butter cakes. The whipped cream was perfect paired with the slightly tart passionfruit filling.

For the Passionfruit Cupcakes (makes 18)

2 cups self raising flour
180 grams softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
¼ cup passion fruit (strained, seeds removed)
2 tablespoons milk

To make the cupcakes- Preheat oven to 180°c, line cupcake trays with papers.

Sift flour into a mixing bowl, add the butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, passion fruit and milk.

Beat all the ingredients on low until combined, increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is pale.

Divide the mixture between the pans, fill each one two thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when poked. While the cakes are baking prepare the cream and passionfruit filling.

Leave the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool cut a deep triangular hole in the top of each cupcake, set aside the cut-out triangle.

Fill the holes with the passionfruit filling.

Using a large star piping tip, pipe a swirl of cream onto the top of each cupcake. Drizzle a little left over passionfruit filling over the top of the cream.

Place the reserved cake triangles gently on the centre of each cake, and dust with icing sugar.

For the Cream

300 mls thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar

Place the cream and sugar into a bowl, beat until the cream holds it shape.

For the Passionfruit Filling

Pulp of 6 passionfruit (strained, seeds removed)
1 tablespoon passionfruit seeds
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoons custard powder
2 tablespoons water

To make the filling- mix the custard powder and water in a small saucepan until smooth. Add the passion fruit pulp, seeds, and sugar and stir over a low heat until thickened.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

I have posted this caramel apple pie before, it was one of my very early posts. Its just that darn good I had to post it again, I’ll just pretend these are different because they are mini single serve versions. The recipe for the large pie makes four smaller ones.

Over the past year I have made this pie more times than I can count, it is boyfriends favorite whenever I ask him for ideas on what to bake this is always his suggestion. It has got pretty cold over the last couple of weeks so it was the perfect time to make it again. The caramel apple filling and crumble topping are super yummy, but I think it’s the caramel sauce drizzled over the top that makes this pie truly awesome. It’s seriously the best thing ever on a cold night served warm with ice cream!

Someone asked a little while ago what size flower cutter I used the flower pot cupcakes, this is the set I have and the approximate sizes of the cutters. For the flowers on the cupcakes I used the largest one which is about 1 cm across, I hope that’s helpful.