There is a science to creating delicious food. One measure of a superior chef is to see if they can demonstrate their ability to combine and balance flavors.You might be familiar with some of the new game shows like Chopped, America's Top Chef and Iron Chef to name a few. Each show has a bit of a different twist but the challenge is for the chef to use mismatched and sometimes uncommon ingredients to test the chef's ability to work with and combine foods and spices to produce a wonderful end product. It takes skill, experience,confidence and creativity to build a mouthwatering masterpiece. I enjoy cooking but seldom have the extra time to experiment with unusual flavors. Typically, it is easier for me to rely on ingredients that are known to compliment each other. That's why for this month's post I decided to go with a flavor combination that is not only representative of summer but has proven to work well together: Pineapple and coconut.
Buttercream Dreams: small cakes, big scoops and sweet treats by Jeff Martin.
NAOMI'S PINEAPPLE CUPCAKES
2 1/2 cups all -purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple, drained slightly
1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed until
slightly thickened and a light cream color, about 2 minutes. On low speed, mix the oil and vanilla
4. Add the sour cream and pineapple and gently mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture
mix until just combined and smooth.
5. Fill each cupcake liner two-thirds full of batter. Bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
6. To make the coconut-cream cheese frosting, in a large bowl using a hand mixer beat the butter
until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined, about 30 seconds.
7. Add the vanilla and coconut extract. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time and blend on
low speed until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the batter begins to get
8. Slowly add the heavy cream and the rum (if using) Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
9. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake. Top with a few sprinkles of toasted coconut. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
COCONUT-CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 stick unsalted butter
1 ( 8 oz package of cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
4 cups confectioner' sugar
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 Tablespoon dark rum (optional)
Toasted coconut for garnish
The icing is on the sweet side. If you don't care for super sweet icing you can 1/2 the recipe or add confectioners' sugar a little at a time and test for sweetness. In addition, you can omit the heavy cream and substitute it with pineapple juice.