Breakfast, Brunch, Cupcakes, Sweet

Bibingka (Coconut-Rice Cake)

It has been a while since I have written, I blame the holidays and the post-holiday slump. In the new year, I have been trying to clear out my pantry. I had some rice flour and a can of coconut milk, and was wondering how to use them up. That is when I came across this recipe for Bibingka; it is a traditional Filipino breakfast cake. I had never heard of it before, but the ingredient list reminded me of Indian crepes or patishapta (if you are wondering what an Indian Crepe is, check out my friend’s recipe here). Anyway, the cakes came out looking beautiful, with a nice golden top. The rice flour gives it a nice nutty smell and an interesting texture; also gluten free! The coconut milk and sugar makes the cakes taste more like desert than breakfast, but who ever said you can’t have cake for breakfast? I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour

2 Tbsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp of ground cardamom

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Lightly grease line muffin tins (approximately 18).

In a medium bowl sift together the rice flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl beat the eggs, then add the sugar, coconut milk, butter and vanilla and combine well.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until well combined and smooth. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared tins.

Bake, for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Leave in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Cake, Cupcakes, Sweet

Go to Frosting: Marscapone Whipped Cream

As a child I would eat the sugary sweet buttercream frosting off of birthday cakes and hand the cake to my mom.  Not anymore.  Buttercream is too sweet for me and I cannot go past one bite of it.  Buttercream is good and has it’s purpose, but for most of my cakes I try to use a light, slightly sweet whipped frosting.  This is one of my favorites and has only 4 ingredients.

Ingredients:

1, 8oz tub of marscapone cheese (this adds richness)

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1/8 cup of sugar ( I told you, it is not sweet at all!)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Method:

  • Bring the marscapone to room temperature, this will help soften the cheese easily.

  • Add the entire tube of cheese to a stand-mixer (or mixing bowl) and add 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

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  • Gently mix the cream and cheese till smooth, scrape down the edges to make sure all the cheese and cream are smooth and blended together

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  • Now add the rest of cream and whisk till soft-peaks start to appear.
  • Add in the vanilla and sugar
  • Whisk till is reaches stiff peaks.

Notes: This will make a lot of frosting and depending on the size of your cake and how you choose to use it, you may or may not have leftovers.  Leftovers are good with fruit, dolloped on any other kind of dessert.  I also freeze leftovers.  However, when you thaw it, it will lose its whipped consistency; you can fix this my adding more marscapone to turn it into a thinker, frosting.  You can also add pudding mix to make a thick filling/dessert.

 

Classics, Cupcakes, Italian, Sweet

Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes

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This summer, I have been on a Cannoli kick.  I guess it started with the Cannolis we had for our rehearsal dinner.

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Then we were out in Boston getting some more at Cafe Vitorria.  As a result, whenever I wanted make something, the “Cannoli” flavor kept coming up.  So here is a super easy recipe for Cannoli cupcakes.  I also used the ingredients to build a my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Ingredients:

Store bought chocolate cake mix

1 15oz container of Ricotta Cheese ( I used part-skim, feel free to use full fat)

4 tbsp of vanilla frosting (I used this, because it was lying around in the pantry)  OR 4tbsp  powdered sugar.  Sweeten to your liking.

1 tsp of almond extract

2tsps of ground cinnamon

mini chocolate chips and pistachios (unsalted-shelled) for garnish

Method:

Make batter and bake cupcakes as per package directions.  I baked 6 cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make 2 9″ round cakes for my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely

In the meantime, mix the entire container of ricotta cheese with 4tbsp of frosting (or 4tbsp of powdered sugar) with almond extract and cinnamon

Fill into a piping bag attached to a star-tip (this is what I did; frost as you like) and pipe onto your cupcakes. You will not use the entire frosting for 6 cupcakes, I saved it for my cake recipe.  You will probably use the whole thing if you are making 12 cupcakes.  This frosting will make a great Cannoli Dip with graham crackers or you could use it for my other favorite recipe “Cannoli Cups

Sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips and pistachios (other toppings could be orange peels, almonds or nothing at all)

Serve and watch your friends devour !

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Cake, Cupcakes

Baby Shower Cupcakes

            

Cupcakes

Le Brantome

When I was five, I just so happened to have two Birthday parties.  Well, the second one was more like using my birthday as an excuse for the grown-ups to have another party.  Needless to say the cake was a quite grown-up too.  I remember this beautiful sheet cake coming out of the box decorated with soft pink sugar roses. And the cake, was light and fluffy yet it tasted so rich and decadent.  It was a walnut cake and that was the last time I had tasted something like that.  Till last fall.  I was watching old “The French Chef” re-runs on PBS when Julia Child whipped up Le Brantome, a walnut cake for a “very important person” (my guess would be that it was Paul Child).  The cake did not have a buttercream filling or sugar roses but looked and sounded just like that birthday cake.  I had to make it.  And, so I did–with a modern twist–cupcakes ! And my VIP — my dear friend Eilish.

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup ground walnuts

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped over ice water

1.Preheat the oven to 350 and fill a cupcake pan with lines.  This batter with yield 24 cupcakes.

2.whip the cream over ice and set it aside.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until they are thick, creamy and light yellow – about 5 minutes.  Then add the vanilla and salt.

4.Sift the flour and baking powder into the eggs in parts, alternating with the walnuts and cream.  Fold in a third of the flour, then a third of the walnuts, then a third of the cream, then another third of the flour and so on until it’s all folded together.  This is a beautiful creamy looking batter.

5. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter into the cupcake pan.

6. Bake on the middle rack for 25minutes.

7.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them.  I cheated and used store bought buttercream frosting.

You will need about two cans to frost 24 cupcakes.

To see Julia in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQcwjETtCT8