Posts Tagged ‘coconut

06
Nov
11

On Board the Crazy Train of Inspiration

Inspiration. I love that word. I love the idea of inspired thoughts and action. As human beings we are inspired by our world around us, every day, every moment. We just have to be aware of it.

For example, a few weeks ago as I was quickly breezing through the produce department on my way to the time clock, I overheard a snatch of a conversation between two co-workers. They were talking about Ozzy Osbourne. Bam! It hit me. I knew what I was going to be for Halloween this year. It was that simple and inspired.

Vampire Gran as Ozzy

Ozzy as Ozzy

A little scary

I’m not the only one lookin’ a little old

This was everyone’s favorite shot

Looking at some over ripe bananas in the fruit bowl this morning, I knew some baking had to occur today. Would it be muffins or waffles? I’ve fallen in love with two recipes lately and have been making them weekly. The muffins won the mental coin toss, so I commenced to prepare the pan, mash bananas, and gather my ingredients. The last time I made these muffins I added some sweetened flaked coconut. Everyone raved. I always put chopped nuts in the muffins, usually walnuts or pecans. Inspiration reared up and the bright light came streaming in. I heard the faint angelic voices in my head sing out in unearthly splendor. What if I add cocoa powder today? Chocolate, coconut and pecans = German chocolate goodness. German Chocolate Banana Muffins!

 

Holy breakfast break though, Batman! These are some fantastic treats. But are they really muffins? Or are they naked cupcakes? Cuppins? Muffcakes? (oh, that sounds kinda naughty). Breakfast cupcakes? Whatever we call them, they are inspired goodness. You be the judge.

German Chocolate Banana Muffins

1 ¾ cups spelt flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt (Kosher or sea salt)

¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 ½ cups ripe mashed bananas (about 3 large or 4 medium bananas)

2/3 cups pure maple syrup

1/3 cup canola, sunflower or extra virgin coconut oil, melted

½ cup chocolate chips (use dairy free if making vegan muffins)

½ cup chopped pecans

1 cup flaked coconut

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375° Prepare 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or light coating of oil

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cocoa powder in large mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl mash bananas, oil, and maple syrup together.

Stir wet into dry ingredients until just mixed. Add chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.

Divide evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar.  Bake for about 25 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. These freeze beautifully. Double wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a freezer Zip Lock baggie.

Crazy full of chocolaty coco nutty Germany goodness

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26
Apr
10

Oh, No, You Didn’t!

Probably falls under the category of a mortal sin

 

Oh yes, I did!  I combined three of my most popular cakes into one.  If there is indeed a hell, I just know there is a big fat red devil with his pitch fork poised, just waiting for me to drop in with this cake.  It’s definitely a cross between heaven and hell.  Heavenly to behold, sweet, moist and rich in the mouth.  Hella hard to resist.  Oh, I’m sure it’s off the charts in fat grams and calories, but who’s counting?  I totally envision the angel and devil routine, each one  perched on my shoulders and whispering in my ear.  Devil -“Go ahead, eat it!  No one is looking!”  Angel – “Oh, my, all those calories!  All that fat!”  Devil – “Don’t listen to her.  You can eat whatever you want.  You deserve it.”  Angel – “It does look delicious.  Maybe just one eensy, teensy bite.”  Devil – “Screw that!  Eat it all.  Now!”  At this point I shake the Angel off my shoulder, give the Devil a conspiratory wink and devour that one way ticket to diet damnation with no remorse.   

If you can’t tell by the picture, the bottom layer is Chocolate Buttermilk Cake, the center layer is, are you ready?, Vanilla Mascarpone Cheesecake (!)and the top layer is Red Velvet Cake.  If that isn’t sinful enough, I frosted it all with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.  Yeah, it’s even better than it sounds.   

Wanna see how it’s assembled?  OK, since you asked, here goes:   

I baked a 9 inch Chocolate Buttermilk Cake, a 9 inch crustless Vanilla Mascarpone Cheesecake and a 9″ Red Velvet Cake.  The cheese cake was baked the day before the other two cakes were made so it could get good and set up in the refrigerator.   

Bottom Layer - Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

 

Here is the bottom chocolate layer with a thin layer of the frosting.  Yeah, I do call that thin. 

The center cheesecake layer

 

I unmolded the crustless cheesecake directly on top of the frosted chocolate layer.  The parchment paper is still attached in this photo, that’s why the bottom (or top, here) of the cheesecake looks wrinkly.  Don’t forget to remove the parchment before frosting the cheesecake layer.  The only reason I mention this is I actually started frosting this after I snapped the photo and then stopped myself.  Fortunetly it’s really easy to remove frosting from cheesecake when it has parchment on it!  Yes, sometimes I am a dork.  

Frosted cheesecake layer

 

Ok, so then I spread a layer of frosting on top of the cheesecake layer, after first removing the parchment paper!  This was the first time I had ever frosted a cheesecake and it glided on there smooth as proverbial silk.  

Last but not least, the top layer, Red Velvet

 

I placed the Red Velvet layer on top and then frosted the whole, beautiful creation.  By the way, I leveled both of the cake layers with a serrated knife before frosting, duh.  

Here's the finished product

 

I made the executive decision not to do my usual piping top and bottom borders.  The true attraction of this cake is on the inside.   

Is the devil whispering in your ear yet?

 

I wish the Red Velvet cake crumbs didn’t get drug across the cheesecake layer.  I used a sharp hot knife and cleaned it between cuts, but I still got crumb dregs.  Well, this was just an inspiration I came up with and thought I drive it around the block a few times until I come up the perfect rendition of this cake.  Not bad for a proto type, though, eh? 

So, what do you reckon, am I going to hell, or what? 

ps:   We did not eat this whole cake ourselves.  Katie and I shared the piece that appears in the picture next to the whole cake.  I sent almost half of the cake to work with Katie and I took almost the other half to my job.  The photo at the beginning of this post was kept at our house, for us to enjoy and share with a couple of lucky people who came by that weekend.

29
Oct
09

Lemon Coconut Pixies

Last year I received a Hershey’s Recipe Box as a birthday gift from a friend.  “I hope you don’t already have this,” she said, wringing her hands and furrowing her brow.   She worries too much.  I was delighted to receive a gift; even better when it is food related.  At first I thought that it was just a tin box with old fashioned Hershey’s pictures on it.

I haven't owned a recipe box in years!

On closer inspection, I was delighted to see that it was filled with recipe cards, complete with photos of the finished products.

Lots of yummy ideas in here!

So, fast forward to one and three quarters years into  the future (present time).  I finally made a recipe from the Hershey’s Box!  And guess what?  No chocolate involved!  Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate!  But I was curious what kind of cookies old Hershey came up with that did not include their signature chocolate.  Since I had coconut and fresh lemon in my kitchen and since we love both of these flavors, I decided on the Lemon Coconut Pixies.

They turned out great!

I brought a few to my friend, Mark, at work the day after I made them.  He went nuts!  “These are so professional!  It’s like something I would get at a fancy bakery!  They melt in your mouth!”  Mark is easy to please.  I will tell you that they are better the following day and the day after that, as the flavors become more distinct.  And paired with a hot cup of tea, delicious!

These would be great for a wedding or a baby or bridal shower.  Really nice for an afternoon tea party.  Or good when you are sitting at your computer, hammering out your latest blog entry, as I am doing right now.  I hope the powdered sugar doesn’t muck up my keyboard too much……

LEMON COCONUT PIXIES

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut flakes*

Powdered sugar

Beat butter, granulated sugar, eggs and lemon peel in a large bowl until well blended.  Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to lemon mixture, beating until blended.  Stir in coconut.  Cover; refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.  Shape into 1 inch balls; roll in powdered sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are set.  Cool completely.  Store in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place.

*  I did not use MOUNDS coconut.  I used what I had on hand.  I put that in this entry because that is what made it a Hershey’s recipe.  I’m sure my coconut came from a bulk bin at Winco!  But it still did the job and tasted yummy.

Here, take a closer look.




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