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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coconut Madeleines

I have had a madeleine pan for about a month. And I have never made madeleines before in my entire life. (Until this past week, of course)
My parents bought me a silicone madeleine pan in Hawaii when we were there for Spring Break. It's a bright cheery red floppy thing and I was quite intimidated by it.
Lucky for me, madeleines are the easiest thing in the world to make! And they are super tasty...
I thought that these shell forms made cookies, but I was mistaken...madeleines are more like mini pound cakes than cookies. Which is all right by me! Everyone knows I love me some cake. ;) So here is the recipe I used. It was really delicious...I still think that I will alter it a tinsy intsy bit to make it just perfect. But for now everyone can happily follow this one to the last teaspoon and be delighted all the same. Because this madeleine pan is from Hawaii, I thought it appropriate (and equally scrumptious) to make coconut madeleines instead of the traditional ones with lemon zest. Best idea ever! 

Gilded Coconut Madeleines

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease the pan, plus 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Confectioners' sugar or melted white chocolate, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly butter and flour the madeleine pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add 1/4 pound of melted butter and mix. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.
With a small spoon, drop the batter into the pans, filling each shell almost full. Bake the madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes, until they spring back when pressed. (Like a cake) Tap the madeleines out onto parchment paper and allow to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar, or drizzle with white chocolate if desired. I also sprinkled mine with gold sugar to make them sparkle. :) 
If you are using a silicone form, set it on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven. They are floppy and hard to handle when transporting them from counter to oven. But they are amazing for popping out the madeleines. No problems with these ones sticking! 
Serve with berries, coffee, or tea. Or just eat them all on their own, they are great. 

Daring Bakers- April!

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Ok, I usurped the kitchen with this mousse. This delicious tasty super awesome drool worthy mousse. Seriously. I would head on over to thedaringkitchen.com just to get the recipe. (But you could vote for me, too. That would be nice.)

I made three different edible cups.
1. Bacon cup.
   A cup made entirely out of bacon. Pure win, my friends. I know, a little weird if you don't like sweet and salty together. But the maple mousse actually tasted good in it! Plus the thought of bacon in the form of a cup is absolutely stupendous on at least 9 levels of tasty.

2. Walnut/Sweet Potato Chip cup.
   This cup is another salty version, but not as in your face flavor as the bacon. There's half chopped walnuts and the other half is crushed sweet potato chips and then baked til brown and fragrant. So it's a little more subtle. I didn't try this one, but my sister said it was good, I would imagine it would be a little like a cream pie in a salty graham cracker crust.

3. Meringue Shell.
   Eh. This was WAY too sweet to hold the already sweet maple mousse. But they were excellent holders for fruit, so we ate em that way later.

4. Apple Cup.
    This was the prettiest of all the containers. It just held itself toether nice with a little apple swirl on top. It was cute! Taste wise it was pretty good too. the apple was hard to eat with a fork, but we don't have anything against eating with our hands, do we? Nah...Maybe I'll try baking the apples next time to make it easier, but the tart apple balanced the sweet mousse really nicely.

5. Sweet Potato Boats.
   I saved the best for last... ah.The sweet potatos didn't look the prettiest, but man were they the tastiest! Me and my mom argued over the last one and we licked that plate clean. I carmelized the insides with butter and brown sugar and then filled them up with the smooth mousse. It. Was. Fantastic.

As for the mousse itself it was pretty awesome straight up out of the bowl. It was very fluffy and light, and the maple flavor wasn't so overpoweing like I was afraid it would be. All around a great great challenge!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jazzin it up!

Once there was a sweet girl named Carly. She was talented and friendly and tried to do many many good things. One of these good things that she did was organize a Jazz Concert and Dessert fundraiser for her school. Even though she was an amazing cook and could make all kinds of desserts herself, she still let other people help as well.
I was one such helper. My contribution was White chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.
They were quite the tastiest.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daring Baker's Challenge-March

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

It was intense. Seriously, you guys! Two rising periods and filling and rolling and fancy cutting and dusting and everything. I had such a blast! I had designated my whole day off from work to make this recipe so I had been looking forward to it all week. It did take a long time but I expected it, so it was fine.

Now about the pastry itself! The recipe says "cake" but it isn't a cake at all, it's a sweet bread a little like brioche. It is rolled out like a jelly roll and filled with all sorts of tasty things along with a layer of meringue. The meringue melts into the dough and moistens the bread as it bakes. The original recipe that Ria and Jamie gave us Daring Bakers had chocolate, cinnamon, and almonds in one version and cashews, chocolate, and garam masala in another Indian inspired version. But of course, being me, I had to put my own spin on it. :)
My dough was infused with Rose tea. I flavored the meringue with orange extract and the filling was orange zest, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and hazelnuts. The final result was tasty, but I felt that spending SO much time and effort it should have been absolutely spectacular awesome. When in reality it was a pretty average pastry.
Next time I think I'll try a different filling. One with fruit and vanilla (Raspberry-vanilla with lemon zest, maybe?) or even a savory twist with herbs in the dough and salami and olives for the filling. The one thing I didn't like was the "tea" taste from the dough. Maybe if I had put the zest in the dough and used rose water instead of tea it would have had a lighter taste. The "teaness" just didn't mesh.

My mom is fasting for lent and she can't try it today. (AH! I know...awful!) So I know I'll be making one for Easter when her fast is over. It's a great Easter bread. :)