Thursday, December 27, 2012

Coconut Cake with Mango Curd

And with the blink of an eye, Christmas is over.

The lead up to Christmas this year was quicker than ever before, and suddenly, Christmas Day and Boxing Day happened too.

Christmas this year was at my brother and sister in laws house, and it was a jam packed affair with about 22 people in the house. Trying to stay out of the torrential rain. We had a makeshift outdoor area though:

My brothers wife put on a most delicious lunch. Baked vegetables, turkey, ham, chicken, bread, gravy.......deeeeeelicious.

For dessert, my sister always brings vanilla ice cream that she adds a whole bunch of delicious chocolates in to (crunchies, m&ms, malteasers, turkish delight etc) - I told her there was too much turkish delight in this years one, but other than that it was tops!

My contribution was a coconut cake with mango curd (apologies for the poor photos - I'm not going to lie, I'd had a few bottles of wine by this stage):

And I also did a bowl of watermelon, cherries, and strawberries dipped in milk & white chocolate:

It was a delicious affair - and I managed to take the left overs to our celebration on Boxing Day with the boyfriend's family. So much food. I now feel sufficiently fat.....bring on the new year!

Also, check out this little chubba - my nephew Peter, celebrating his first Christmas. SO CUTE:

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Coconut Cake with Mango Curd via Hungry Rabbit

1 large egg
5 large egg whites
3/4 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2-1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5-3/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened, but still cool
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (about 8 ounces) (I cheated though and bought pre toasted coconut cause I'm a rebel like that. So feel free to take the easy option!)
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour. (I used 12 inch cake pans, and I made a double batch of cake to feed our army of people)

2. Beat egg whites and whole egg in large measuring cup with fork to combine. Add cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with fork until thoroughly combined.

3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed to combine. With mixer still running on lowest speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about 2 minutes.

4. With mixer still running, add 1 cup liquid. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. Add remaining 1 cup liquid in steady stream (this should take about 15 seconds). Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.

5. Divide batter between cake pans and level with offset spatula. Bake until deep golden brown, cakes pull away from sides of pans, and toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes (rotate cakes after about 20 minutes). Do not turn off oven.

6. Cool in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes, then loosen cakes from sides of pans with paring knife, invert cakes onto racks and then re-invert; cool to room temperature.

7. While cakes are cooling, spread coconut flakes on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until are a mix of golden brown and white, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool to room temperature.

Mango Curd

2 fresh mangoes, pureed
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime/lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1. Combine mango puree, sugar, lime juice, salt and yolks in a medium-size bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk puree until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 12-15 minutes.

2. Remove bowl from simmering water and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through a sieve into a container; place pa piece of plastic wrap directly on top of mango curd. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

I used Whisk Kid swiss meringue buttercream to frost. It was deeeeelicious!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cake Pops

Anyone who tells you cake pops are easy to make is a bloody liar.

This is my first attempt at cake pops, and I tell you what - more of them fell off their stick when being dipped in the chocolate than stayed on their stick.

It's ok though - I persevered and ended up with this:

I won't lie to you - I used a Duncan Hines devils food cake mix for these bad boys. It was delicious, and for $2.50, why wouldn't you use it?

I baked them in a super mini muffin tin, because rolling cake pops in to evenly sized balls is for chumps.

Anyway, these are for my work mates, a little christmas cheer to inject in to our dreary Council chambers office.

I'm contempmlating making some for Christmas Day (I drew the dessert card for what to bring on Christmas - but then again, I always bring dessert!) - I've also had a request from the brother to make a choc mint ice cream cake. And I really want to make a coconut cake too. Looks like I'll be a busy bee!

Merry Christmas, friends x