Straight Up yogurt beetroot cupcakes

Yogurt is a great thing. You can eat it plain, you can use it in baking, savoury dishes, smoothies… the possibilities are endless. I’ve always loved yogurts from The Collective (as evidenced by my large collection of their yogurt tubs – which, by the way, make for excellent storage containers). So it’s not a surprise that I was excited to hear about their newest product Straight Up a natural, unsweetened yogurt with no added sugar, sweeteners, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Straight Up Produced using the best West Country milk, it is uniquely luxurious, thick and creamy with a velvety smooth texture, making it a live yoghurt like no other. Because it is packed full with probiotics, it has a very clean, tangy taste – I personally found it a little too sharp, but it’s nothing that a squeeze of brown rice syrup can’t fix! I wish I could have taken proper photos of the yogurt and my baking experiments, but my dSLR camera recently broke (to be more specific, the mirror broke) when we were on holiday, and I need to figure out if it is worth getting it replaced – or it might be time for an upgrade. I am just very grateful for camera phones. They will never replace a proper camera, but at least it’s better than nothing. So, what did I make? I decided to bake some beetroot cupcakes. Yes, I know. It’s a vegetable. But do not scoff, as it is actually a wonderful ingredient and works beautifully well in baked treats. beetroot yogurt cupcake 1 I was a little nervous to find out if Straight Up would work in this recipe, but I shouldn’t have. It worked beautifully, resulting in a moist cupcake with a tender crumb. The only downside of Straight Up is you have to finish the whole tub within a few days, as  the yogurt does not contain any preservatives. I had a small amount of yogurt left over, and it sadly went a little off. So my advice to you is to eat it all, and not practise the ‘let’s just leave some for later’ policy. Beetroot & yogurt cupcakes Makes 24 small-ish cupcakes, or 15 medium cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup beetroot puree *
  • 1 cup Straight Up yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour (you may use normal all-purpose flour if you wish)
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn oil (or any other flavourless oil)

1. Preheat your oven to 180’C.
2. Sieve the brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium sized bowl. Add the ground almonds and poppy seeds to the same bowl. I usually don’t sieve my ground almonds, because they usually aren’t ground finely enough to easily pass through the sieve.
3. Add the beetroot puree, egg, sugar, yogurt and corn oil into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment, until it forms a nice smooth paste (this should take only 1-2 minutes). You can also do this with a handheld whisk or a spatula if you don’t want to use/don’t have a stand mixer.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet beetroot mix. Mix until the batter is just combined.
6. Scoop the batter into cupcake tins.
7. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes until cooked. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes should come out clean.
8. Leave to cool slightly on wire racks, then eat!

* I usually use pre-cooked beetroot, and whizz this to form a puree. You can always cook it from scratch, but it is often difficult to find fresh beetroot. Remember to buy plain unflavoured cooked beetroot, and not those which are pre-seasoned with vinegar.

Disclosure: I was sent samples of Straight Up for review purposes, but all opinions expressed above are my own.

Pear & chocolate cupcakes

I love my food. I find any excuse imaginable to snack, and sometimes worry about how much I am seemingly able to eat! To ensure I maintain some sort of balance, I do try to sometimes snack on fruit rather than something errr… less healthy. I also like using fruit when baking, subsequently declaring it “healthy”.

Which is why I welcome the idea of office fruit boxes, which appears to be the new “in” thing. Fruitdrop are one of the companies that offers this service, and supply a selection of fruit to your office – each box contains a selection of 50 fruit, and you can choose from either the “Essentials” or “Seasonal” Fruitdrop office fruit boxes. Prices appear to be fairly competitive, and start at £20 per box. R gets a fruit box where he works, and I am perpetually envious that I don’t, and have to bring in my own fruit!

fruitdrop box

I was recently sent a “Seasonal” box – and was pleasantly surprised at the variety of fruit included within. The site didn’t state how many varieties would be supplied, so it was all a bit of a mystery until I received the box. As you can see from the photo, there were a few seasonal fruits e.g strawberries and plums, alongside the ever present bananas, apples, clementines and so forth.

As I had an abundance of fruit, I decided to experiment and bake with them. Eating them as they are gets boring after a while you see…

fruitdrop pear chocolate cupcakes

fruitdrop pear chocolate cupcake

So yes. I uhmed and ahhed about which fruit would be my first victim, and finally decided to make some pear and chocolate cupcakes. I tried to make these a little healthier than the average cupcake, so these were made with yogurt and oil (no butter). Shocking, I know. And there isn’t any icing because I honestly am not a fan of cupcake icing – I find it way too sweet for my taste.

The only thing I’d do differently next time would be to sprinkle some demerara sugar on the tops of the cupcakes, as this tends to give a very pleasant crunchy top to bite into. And I like crunch.

fruitdrop pear chocolate cupcake

Pear & chocolate cupcakes
Makes 24 small cupcakes

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g corn oil (or any other flavourless oil)
  • 280g Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 180g pears, chopped into 1cm pieces, and tossed lightly in 2 tbsp of plain flour*
  • 100g dark chocolate chunks/chips
  • demerara sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 170’C (fan assisted).
2. Sieve the caster sugar, plain flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl.
3. Add in the corn oil, Greek yogurt and the egg yolks, and mix until just combined.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
5. Gently fold in the egg whites into the cake mixture, in two additions. Take care to not overmix, as this may result in a dense cupcake.
6. Gently fold in the pear pieces and chocolate chunks.
7. Spoon the mixture into a cupcake tin lined with cupcake cases. Sprinkle the tops with demerara sugar if you wish.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the top.
9. Cool slightly, and enjoy!

* Tossing the pear pieces in flour prevents them from sinking to the bottoms of the cupcakes.

fruitdrop pear chocolate cupcake

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Fruitdrop.

Spiced pumpkin cupcakes

It seems that an increasing number of my posts now start with “So I’ve been a terrible blogger…”, doesn’t it? What can I say? I want to say I blame Instagram (where I post very regularly), but truth be told, Instagram can probably only be held partly accountable for the lack of posts. After all, it is me who decides whether or not I want to whip out my camera to take photos of the food I make/if I measure out my ingredients!

Despite a rather sizeable backlog, I thought I would post the recipe for these spiced pumpkin cupcakes which I made fairly recently (i.e. within the last month, as opposed to last year). I suspect some of you may have some leftover pumpkin puree from Thanksgiving, so what better way to use it than in a delicious not-too-sweet treat?

I adapted Aran’s recipe for beetroot and poppy seed cupcakes to make these. And by the way, if you have yet to try Aran’s original recipe – please do! I’ve made them countless times now, and everyone always loves them. I’ve even tried making banana cupcakes using her recipe as a starting point. 🙂

Another plus is that these little babies are gluten free (though you can easily make them with normal all purpose flour). Interestingly, I have found that using gluten free flours seems to enhance the texture of cakes/cupcakes – not sure if I’m the only one who feels this way?

I use a fair bit of spices in these cupcakes, but you can always use more/less depending on how ‘spiced’ you want these cupcakes to be. You may also add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the cupcake batter if you wish.

Alternatively, you can whip up a quick cream cheese frosting to top these cupcakes – I usually whisk together 200g cream cheese, 100g softened butter, 3/4 cup icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. I then add a teaspoon of lemon juice at the very end.

Spiced pumpkin cupcakes
Adapted from this recipe by Canelle et Vanille
Makes 12 small-ish cupcakes, or 9 medium cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour (you may use normal all-purpose flour if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn oil (or any other flavourless oil)
  • Demerara sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 180’C.
2. In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk with the lemon juice. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
3. Sieve the brown rice flour, allspice, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium sized bowl. I usually don’t sieve my ground almonds, because they usually aren’t ground finely enough to easily pass through the sieve.
4. Add the pumpkin puree, egg, sugar, coconut milk mixture and corn oil into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment, until it forms a nice smooth paste (this should take only 1-2 minutes). You can also do this with a handheld whisk or a spatula if you don’t want to use/don’t have a stand mixer.
5. Add the sieved dry ingredients (and the ground almonds) to the wet pumpkin mix. Mix until the batter is just combined.
6. Scoop the batter into cupcake tins. If you wish, you may sprinkle some demerara sugar on top of the batter – this will give you a nice crunchy cupcake topping.
7. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes until cooked. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes should come out clean.
8. Leave to cool slightly on wire racks, then eat!

Blog surfing: Halloween favourites

One of the things I love most about the blogging community is the sheer amount of talent out there. As cheesy as it sounds, it is really inspiring to see what other bloggers come up with because believe me – these people are REALLY creative!

I’ve been trying to catch up on my ever growing pile of unread blog posts in my RSS reader, and have come across quite a number of brilliant Halloween inspired posts in the last week or so. Whilst I would love to make them all, I simply don’t have the time to do it at present, so I thought I would compile a list of my favourite Halloween posts so far…

*ALL photos in this post are courtesy of the respective bloggers 

“Batty” Battenburg cake from Sprinkle Bakes

I absolutely adore Heather’s blog, and she has inspired a great many of my baking experiments. This Battenburg cake is just another one of her marvellous creations – I mean, how COOL does this cake look? Totally blew me away. My favourite bit is the orange bat eyes. 😉

Black widow chocolate rum cupcakes from 6 Bittersweets

Xiaolu’s blog is one of my newfound favourites, and I urge you to check out her blog if you don’t already read it regularly. The ‘black widow’ spiders are made from modelling chocolate, which is something I’ve yet to work with – but I plan to experiment with it… soon! Xiaolu has helpfully detailed the instructions of how to make the spiders, if you wish to try recreating them.

Rat plaque brownie bites from Not Quite Nigella

One of the first blogs I discovered back in the day (which actually wasn’t too long ago!) was Lorraine’s, and her blog remains one of my favourite ones. She is a total wonder woman, and manages to blog EVERY SINGLE DAY. I kid you not. I have no idea how she manages to do it, especially when you consider the effort she puts into writing them (she’s really funny too!). Lorraine loves Halloween, and always puts on truly elaborate Halloween parties each year… which she blogs about, naturally. You can read her Halloween party posts here, here, and here.

Spooky shortbread fingers from Baking Quinn

Quinn has a number of great recipes on her blog (she inspired me to make Chinese New Year peanut cookies earlier this year!), and this is another one of them. These shortbread fingers are made with muscovado sugar, which I suspect adds a nice molasses-esque taste to them. I’ve seen a recipe for brown sugar shortbread in Bill Granger’s cookbook (of course, being me I find a way to bring Bill into everything), and I’ve now reminded myself that I need to try the recipe!

Oreo and M&M witch hats from Gourmand Recipes

These cute hats are from Ellie’s new-ish blog Gourmand Recipes – as I’m sure most of you know, she’s no newbie to the blogging world though, as she used to blog on Almost Bourdain (which if you should definitely check out if you haven’t yet). All you need to make these little babies are oreos, M&Ms, mini cones, and chocolate. How much simpler could it get? I can only imagine how good these would be with peanut butter M&M’s….. 😀

Halloween chocolate orange layer cake from Bakingdom

If you think this cake looks amazing now, just wait till you have a look at what it looks like on the inside! One word – amazing!

Devil-ish red velvet cupcakes from 6 Bittersweets

Another one from Xiaolu, and she’s made the red velvet cupcake even red-der! 😉 The tails and horns are made from modelling chocolate. I normally am not a fan of too much food colouring, but I figure Halloween is a good time to whip out the supplies!

Ghost cake from I Am Baker

Amanda churns out so many fantastic cakes that it simply astounds me… can you imagine being her neighbour? 😉 I only recently learnt of her blog, and I’m still trawling through her very impressive archive of posts. This ghost cake is just one of the many examples of her creativity…

Eyeball cake pops from Bakerella

The pop cake queen strikes again! These eyeballs somehow manage to strike the right balance of cute and scary… and I love them. Her creativity (and love of sprinkles) knows no bounds! 🙂 She also made some Halloween ‘character’ cake pops last year, which you can find here.

Decorated Halloween cookies from Sweetopia

Marian’s blog is a cookie decorating newbie’s heaven – she has everything from great ideas, to detailed tutorials on the how-to of royal icing and sugar cookies. I’ve learnt a great deal from her site, and I still continue to learn! These Halloween pumpkin cookies are by far the cutest ones I’ve seen so far. Look at them just smiling away at you! 🙂

Ghost marshmallows from One Million Gold Stars

Gail’s photo of her ‘drowning’ ghost marshmallow totally put a smile on my face! Imagine how good these would be dunked in some hot chocolate… mmmm. I’ve made my own marshmallows before, and I can safely say that they taste a LOT better than storebought ones. Trust me, once you make them you will find it hard to return to storebought.

So yes, these are my favourite Halloween treats so far! I’m sure there will be more in the coming days, and I’ll update the post as needed. 🙂 Please feel free to let me know if you have any favourite Halloween goodies that I haven’t included in the post – it’s always lovely to discover new blogs!

New York: Kyotofu

I was intrigued by Kyotofu the moment I typed their name into Google. This Japanese themed dessert bar and bakery goes on the theme of “changing the world, one soybean at a time”. Soybean? Oh, yes. The humble soybean is taken to new levels at Kyotofu, inspiring a whole range of innovative (and delicious!) savoury and sweet dishes.

Barbequed unagi – The only savoury dish I tried at Kyotofu. And to be honest, it was R’s dish as I chose dessert instead. This was actually a really nice spin on the usual unagi sushi you get in Japanese restaurants. The barbequed freshwater eel was wrapped in crisp phyllo dough, and served with whole sansho peppers and teriyaki sauce.

I would have tried more savoury dishes, but I was concentrating on the desserts each time we went to Kyotofu (we went twice, both at odd times, in between meals.) Catty tried their chicken tofu burger when she visited them last year and liked it, so I’d definitely want to aim to try more of their savoury food the next time I’m in New York.

Warm miso chocolate cake. I knew I had to order this when I saw it on the menu. I mean, how could I resist the combination of a warm miso chocolate cake with a mochi center, miso caramel, and adzuki shiro-an (red bean sweetened paste)? This was absolutely gorgeous, and I think I must have let out a little squeal of delight when it was brought to the table. I never thought that miso could be paired with caramel, but it worked really well… think of it as an Asian twist on salted caramel, because that is exactly what it tasted like. The warm chocolate cake was moist, and the mochi center was a pleasant surprise.

Whilst I was enjoying my warm chocolate cake, people kept on coming in to take away their soft serve. Intrigued, I decided that I simply *had* to try some. So I did. The waiter who initially served us (but had gone on a short break) was extremely surprised when he got back to find the ice cream in front of me, asking me “didn’t you have the chocolate cake?” with a puzzled look on his face. If only he knew how much I can eat…

Anyway, on to the soymilk soft ice cream sundae, served with a fruit compote, matcha mochi, brownie topping and pocky sticks. Kyotofu cycle flavours on a monthly basis, and in March they were serving matcha and black sesame ice cream. I believe it is chocolate and white sesame this month, and I only wish I could try the white sesame version! I really, really liked the ice cream. It wasn’t too sweet (always a plus), and was bursting with the flavours of matcha (green tea) and black sesame respectively. I don’t think I paid much attention to the toppings that came with the sundae, as I was too busy eating the ice cream itself. I especially liked how it was made with soymilk, which therefore meant I could *claim* to be eating something healthy. Sort of.

Because we enjoyed Kyotofu so much, we managed to squeeze in another trip just before leaving New York. Priorities. 😀 We tried their matcha lattes (both cold, and hot) – both were good. I felt that the hot version was better, but that might have been because it was a very cold day.

Anmitsuadzuki red bean, coffee & strawberry agar, shiratama dango (mochi-like balls made from sweet rice flour) and kinako ice cream. You get a choice of kinako ice cream or a vegan coconut sorbet, but I chose the kinako (soybean flour) as it was something different. This was again beautifully presented. It tasted as good as it looked, and my favourite bit of it was the kinako ice cream. The red beans had just the right amount of sweetness, and went well with the ice cream and the dango. I love anything chewy, so naturally really enjoyed the shiratama dango. I couldn’t eat the sugar wafer though – that was too sweet and too hard for my teeth!

Black sesame sweet tofu, served with a hoji-cha syrup. I had a hard time deciding between this, and their signature white tofu. I ended up choosing the black sesame version as I felt the white tofu version would be similar to “tofu fah” (one of the absolute MUST EAT’s everytime I go home). Like everything else here, there was a burst of black sesame goodness in each bite of the tofu. Despite the word “sweet” in the name of the dish, the tofu itself wasn’t all that sweet. I felt the hoji-cha syrup complemented the tofu very well, but R preferred the tofu plain – but then again, he does not have a sweet tooth. I still prefer “tofu fah” though, as it’s what I grew up eating. 🙂

I also bought a selection of their baked goods to bring back to London – again, this was influenced by the many, many people who walked in to do this each time I dined there. The photo above is of their genmaicha brown rice almond financiers (golden) and matcha green tea almond financiers (green). I absolutely loved these. Surprisingly I enjoyed the genmaicha ones more than the matcha, as the tea added an extra nutty flavour to the financiers.

Miso chocolate brownie. As you can tell from the photo, there were sesame seeds in this – I thought this was absolute genius. I’m definitely going to try making some sesame chocolate brownies very soon! I must say I couldn’t really taste the miso in this, but it was good nonetheless.

Chocolate chunk and hazelnut kinako cookie. What I really liked about Kyotofu was how they put a Japanese/Asian spin on their food. This looks like your standard chocolate chip cookie, but believe me when I say it was better than that. The kinako (soybean flour) added a pleasant nutty aftertaste to the cookies. Only way I thought this could be improved = some sea salt sprinkled on the tops of the cookies.

Mini cupcakes – chocolate souffle, matcha green tea, yuzu vanilla and apple cinnamon. Apparently their chocolate souffle cupcake was voted NYC’s best cupcake by New York Magazine – so obviously I had to try one. Whilst the chocolate souffle cupcake was good, my favourite flavour was the yuzu vanilla. The tangy yuzu cupcake had delightful notes of vanilla running through it, and like all their other baked goods, was not overly sweet.

I really enjoyed Kyotofu, and it is definitely a place I can visit over and over again. I can only imagine how often I’d pop in to get some soymilk soft serve if I was a New Yorker…. Fingers crossed I’ll get to try their tofu cheesecake, miso brittle and tofu marshmallows in the near future. In the meantime I’ll continue hoping that they may one day come to London!

Kyotofu
705 Ninth Avenue (between 48th and 49th)
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212-974-6012
http://kyotofu-nyc.com/

Pumpkin whoopie pies

Whoopie pies have taken the world by storm recently, and have even been hailed as the “new cupcake”. Who would have thought that two round pieces of cake (sandwiched with a creamy filling) could become so popular?

According to folklore, Amish women used to bake these for their husbands and put them in their lunchboxes. When the men opened their lunchboxes after a hard morning in the fields, they would shout “whoopie!”. And thus the whoopie pie was born. Of course, there is no proof that this is how they got their name, but it’s a fun story, and I’m more than happy to go along with it!

I’ve been seeing a lot of pumpkin puree around recently, and so thought it would be fun to incorporate some pumpkin into some whoopie pies. It was quite interesting as I had never actually used pumpkin puree before, nor had I ever made whoopie pies. Oh, and I’d only ever eaten one whoopie pie from Hummingbird Bakery. Thinking back, I must say I didn’t really have much idea of what I was aiming to achieve, both taste and texture wise. But that’s the fun thing about cooking, no? The experimenting. Or sometimes, the disasters…

Shaping these whoopie pies were actually much harder than I expected. I don’t have a cookie scoop, so had to use two spoons to form them into the two domed halves. For my first batch, I didn’t smooth them out, hoping they’d even out as they baked. I can now tell you that they didn’t (not sure if this is true of all whoopie pie recipes, or just this one?). So I ended up spending a fair amount of time trying to make sure the rest of my whoopie halves were smoother and more respectable… I also ended up with rather unevenly sized halves, as I didn’t measure how much batter I used each time. Basically, I was lazy.
Having said that, the final product actually tasted pretty good. Instead of using the more “traditional” cream cheese filling, I decided to go for a dark chocolate one. And you know what, I’m glad I did. The bittersweet chocolate ganache/filling complemented the pumpkin perfectly, and I daresay I would not have enjoyed them as much had it been a cream cheese filling. (Thank you R for the suggestion!)
I also made some “mini” cupcakes with some of the batter. Mainly because I’d just bought a new silicone cupcake tray, and felt the overwhelming urge to use it. I didn’t fill the holes till the top, as I was hoping to get a effect of a paper lined cupcake (if you know what I mean). They didn’t turn out all that well (as you can see), but I’m definitely going to try to achieve that effect the next time I use the tray! Another thing that bugged me were the air bubbles in the batter, which caused little “holes” in the final product. I think I’ll try tweaking the recipe to make it more liquid next time around…  And yes, the frosting on the top does look a bit like a lump of poo – so I dusted them with icing sugar in an attempt to make them look less so. 😛

If you have any good whoopie pie recipes, do let me know as I’d love to try making them again!!

Pumpkin chocolate whoopie pies
Adapted from this recipe on Steamy Kitchen

For the whoopie pies:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (425g) solid pack pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 200g dark chocolate (I use Green & Blacks 72% cook’s chocolate)
  • 200g double cream
  • 20g butter

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking trays with parchment paper, and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, spice blends, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

3. In a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar (on medium-high speed) until it becomes thick and creamy.

4. Add the pumpkin puree, and beat until just combined.

5. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. (Mixture will be thin, like a muffin batter.)

6. Gradually add flour mixture (I added it in three batches), and beat until well combined.

7. Using a large cookie scoop (about 2 inches diameter), scoop batter onto prepared trays, and slightly flatten the whoopie pie halves with the back of your scoop. Leave them approximately 5cm apart. (If you don’t own a cookie scoop, do what I did and use two spoons).

8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until whoopie pie halves spring back when lightly pressed.

9. Cool the whoopie pie halves. Whilst waiting for them to cool, prepare the chocolate ganache filling.

10. Heat the double cream in a pan over medium heat, until it feels hot to touch.

11. Place the broken up chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and butter, and stir until all the chocolate/butter is melted. It should form a thick and shiny frosting.

12. To assemble the whoopie pies: Pipe or spoon the chocolate ganache filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another half, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the whoopie pie. Repeat until all the halves are used.

 

Fig mochi cupcakes

I have a confession. I have a weakness for anything made from glutinous rice flour. Be it tang yuan (glutinous rice balls), muar chee (a Malaysian snack), mochi (a Japanese snack/wagashi), or mochi bread – I love it all. There’s just something about the chewy goodness of glutinous rice flour that makes it so irresistible, to me at least.

It is this weakness for glutinous rice flour that led me to be intrigued the moment I saw Y’s post on mochi cupcakes. Cake + mochi in one? Could it work? Well, there was only one way to find out: to try it out for myself. And I can very categorically say that yes, cake + mochi work exceptionally well together.

It’s hard to find the right words to describe the texture of these babies, and the best I can do is to say they are “chewy but not overly heavy/cloying”. Those of you who have eaten food made from glutinous rice flour will probably understand what I’m getting at, but I’m betting that the rest of you will have no idea what on earth I’m going on about. Maybe one of my readers can help me out here?

But as I was saying, mochi cupcakes are yum. What I also like about them are the endless number of variations one can have – flavours I’ve made so far are matcha (green tea), blueberry, cherry and most recently these fig ones. Plus they’re gluten free! I have plans to make chocolate or peanut butter ones in the near future, so stay posted for that.

I’m sending these fig mochi cupcakes over to the lovely Deeba of Passionate About Baking. She’s a fantastic baker who manages to churn out all sorts of delicious baked goods even in the sweltering Indian heat, and is hosting this month’s Monthly Mingle which is themed “Fruit in Baking”. I’ve never actually taken part in any blog events, but I guess there has to be a first for everything!

On another note, don’t forget to check out my Hotel Chocolat GIVEAWAY! 🙂

Fig mochi cupcakes
Adapted from this recipe on Lemonpi
Makes approximately 12 cupcakes

  • 225g glutinous rice flour
  • 80g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 187g evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 3 figs, cut into 1-2cm slices
  • demerara sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 175’C.
2. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases, and set aside.
3. Sift the glutinous rice flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and mixed spice.
4. Whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (I use a stand mixer, but you could just as easily use a handheld electric mixer).
5. Fold in the melted butter into the egg/sugar mixture, followed by the evaporated milk and vanilla bean paste.
6. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients in two batches.
7. Pour the cupcake mixture into the prepared muffin cases (make sure to only fill it to about 3/4 full, or it may overflow). Place a fig slice in each muffin case, and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.