Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Lime and Coconut Cupcakes

March was a bit of a busy month.  Being the final month of term 3 kept me occupied as I did my best to wrangle excitable children and actually teach them something. I took on extra work again, and I had a job interview.  There was also a trip to Ikea, a jaunt with my bestie, trips to the cinema, a birthday party, Easter lunch and plenty of baking.  Busy busy busy. 

With regards to my interview, I haven't heard back yet.  I am not feeling particularly positive or hopeful.  I don't think it went well.  Luckily I have very supportive people around me at home and at work who cheer me up by telling me nice things.  It was cool to find out I have impressed people and come across as calm.  I never think I'm calm.  It's been 2 and a half weeks since then at this point.  Hopefully I'll get an answer soon, even if that answer is going to be no...again.

Anyway, the Hubby went a-visitin' to his friends again last month and requested I bake something.  When asked for input on what sort of thing they wanted I was told to do something with fruit (except pineapple).  Hubby initially went to orange, thinking I'd not really done that before until I pointed out all the times I had.  I've also done a lot with berries.  I wanted to try using a different ingredient and it finally occurred to me that I've never really used coconut before.

I am not the keenest on coconut but it is okay.  One of those things I can eat if I have to but not something I would actively choose.  The Hubby is fine with coconut, as he often eats all the Bountys left over in the box of Celebrations.  When I posed the possibility, he said he was willing to give it a go.  Initially, I was going to pair it with chocolate.  Then I switched to pina colada until I was reminded that I wasn't meant to use pineapple.  So I ended up removing that element and going for a coconut and lime cake.  My little recipe book I got free with a magazine years ago had a recipe all ready and waiting for me.

The coconut flavouring comes from a mix of desiccated coconut and coconut cream.  I found the latter in the World Foods section of the supermarket as it is often used in Asian cooking.  I used it as stated in the recipe, but I also heated some of it into milk to use in the recipe too, rather than use regular milk.  If I could cram in more coconut, then I would.  The lime is gained through zest in the batter and juice in the frosting.  It's a cream cheese frosting by the way.  I did try and find some cream cheese that wasn't Philadelphia but couldn't.   The cream cheese section of the supermarket isn't that great.  But it sufficed.  And I convinced the Hubby to eat it.  He's rather against cheese (which, coupled with being vegetarian makes him rather picky) and so has always been weary of cream cheese frosting.  However, I pointed out that carrot cake often gets served with a cream cheese frosting and so he'd probably eaten it before without realising.  Since he likes my baking, he decided to trust me.

They were well received.  Admittedly, that's not hard with that lot.  They love when I send baking but I always hope it's going to be enjoyed.  You get a nice mix of the two flavours coming through and it's a good blend of sweet and citrus.  Turned out there was even someone who doesn't like one of the flavours (the Hubby cannot remember which) and they also enjoyed them.  Hurrah!

Recipe - adapted from Delicious Cupcakes Made Easy
Makes 12

  • 100g/3.5oz butter
  • 25g/1oz creamed coconut
  • 125g/4.5oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g/4.5oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 25g/1oz desiccated coconut
  • Zest of 1 unwaxed lime
  • 2 tbsp milk (you could melt down some of the creamed coconut to get coconut milk)
  • 150g/5oz cream cheese
  • 50g/2oz icing sugar
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • Desiccated coconut and lime zest for decorating 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and fill a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Put the butter, creamed coconut and caster sugar into a bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold until just combined. 
  5. Stir in desiccated coconut and lime zest, followed by the milk.
  6. Distribute the mixture evenly between the cases and then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and lime juice together in a bowl.
  9. Swirl the frosting onto each cake and then sprinkle with desiccated coconut and lime zest.

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