There's still no sign of my dwarf French beans yet though but rest of the garden is looking pretty good. I'll leave more about that though for another day.
I made some coconut cupcakes today, which are amazing - I only wish I had a stand mixer though as doing everything by hand is a bit tiresome and having a mixer would just speed things up quite a bit! You never know....
Coconut Cocoa Cupcakes
Makes 9 cupcakes
I love these cupcakes, mostly because the coconut in the mixture just makes a really light, yet moist cupcake. The cream cheese icing also adds a sweet indulgence without overpowering the whole cake as its a lot more subtle than a lot of icings. It also remains soft rather than 'crusting' over.
It was a great day today to make these - even though it was a really hot day, they weren't sickly like most cakes or puddings can seem when the weather is warm. They just tasted all the more exotic. Eating one made me feel like I was in the Caribbean - piña coladas all round please!
for the cake:
* 200g plain flour
* 200g caster sugar
* 170g room temperature butter
* 3 medium eggs
* 3/4 tsp of vanilla extract
* 3/4 tsp almond extract
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 120ml buttermilk, or you could use Greek/natural yogurt
* 150g desiccated coconut
* pinch of salt
for the icing
* 200g of cream cheese, room temp
* 170g of butter, room temp
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 tsp almond extract
* 325-400g icing sugar
* cocoa powder for dusting
* 1tbsp of either desiccated or freshly grated coconut
1. Preheat oven to Gas 3 and make sure all your ingredients are really room temperature.
2. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl until smooth
3. Then, add the eggs one by one to the butter and beat well between each egg you add.
4. Add the vanilla and almond extracts after beating in the eggs.
5. In a separate bowl, sift your flower, baking powder, bicarb and salt together. Then, add these sieved, dry ingredients to your butter mixture, at about a third at a time and beating in continuously.
6. After the flour mix is fully combined, add the buttermilk.
7. Finally, fold the desiccated coconut - at this stage, don't over mix, just gently fold in.
8. Now, spoon the mixture into 9 muffin cases and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Take out of the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.
to make the frosting...
1. Whilst the cupcakes are baking, get on with the icing by beating the butter and cream cheese together - again make sure it is all really room temperature.
2. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and continue to beat well until its all nicely combined and smooth, it should at this stage look a nice buttery yellow colour.
3. Slowly add the icing sugar (slowly so you avoid the icing sugar cloud!) and mix until smooth - you can add less or more icing sugar depending on the consistency you want, but ideally it should just be able to hold soft peaks.
4. You can either add the extra coconut into the icing mixture or sprinkle on top.
4. Once the cupcakes are cool, you can ice them with a generous tablespoon of this decadent pastel-yellow icing.
5. Swirl it around to make a decorative design and top with a final dusting of cocoa powder.
....for me these were perfect with a cup of coffee....