Friday, September 17, 2010

Maligayang Bati

Or "Happy Birthday" in Tagalog (I'm half Filipino for those curious souls out there...).

A few days ago was my grandma's birthday (80 years young!) and I thought it was the perfect time to whip out a new recipe I had been yearning to try. I was first introduced to the coconut-mango mix by my friend, Lindsey, who suggested that I try out the combo in my next pancake batch. Being the pancake lover that I am, I contemplated making them every morning this week, but I was so intrigued by the idea, that I wanted to take it a step further. That's when I remembered that my grandma's favorite two fruits were fittingly enough, coconuts and mangoes.  I was originally going to use fresh coconut both inside my cupcake and as a finishing sprinkle, but I ran into a slight roadblock when I opened the fridge and my coconut had been used to make something else. (Fresh coconut is hard to come by in my family, so you snooze, you lose..and I lost!). Luckily for me, the coconut debacle wouldn't necessarily make or break my cupcakes, and I still had fresh mangoes perfect for a topping. I was pleasantly surprised when the cupcakes came out better than I imagined, and I'm happy to say that everyone enjoyed them. Below is part of the recipe I used to make the cupcakes via Bon Appetit. I didn't use the coconut frosting recipe because I  wanted to make a simple, but refreshing cool whip/mango topping to give a different texture and flavor.

Vanilla-Coconut Cupcakes



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature

Preparation

  • Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium-low; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). Do ahead. Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

On to the Cupcakes

  • Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  • Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.

Easy Mango Topping (a la pancakeSTACKER)

  • This part is so easy, it's kind of a joke that I'm writing how what I did, but I couldn't leave my mango step out! All you need is one large mango (or more if you'd like) and a package of cool whip. Cut the mango to small pieces, or mash the mango up completely. Mix with the cool whip and bam-- you've got a topping.
Photos by: Chandamheer 

Now that I have successfully overloaded you all with food posts this week, I promise that starting Monday I'll be back to my regular posting schedule, AND I will have a ton of outfit posts to make up for lost time. Tomorrow, Alex L. and I are heading to SFO to catch a flight for the first leg of our trip. Stop by first thing on Monday to see where we go!

By the way, did anyone notice I made a little change? How do you guys like the new layout?? The only thing I'm missing now is a beautiful new banner. Anyone up for the challenge? Let me know what you think below :)

Happy weekend!! (P.S. Just because I know you are wondering, the coconut-mango pancake experiment will happen, too.)
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