Saturday, June 30, 2012

Below you will find my original post, which was my entry to the competition. But, I was crunched on time so I wasn't able to get all my pictures on here. I'm making a few separate posts to get everything on here and will edit this post with the links as I go.

Mango Sorbet
Coconut custard ice cream
Coconut cream cupcake
Mango butter-cream and putting it together

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So finally, here is my submission for the 2012 Ice Cream Cupcake Contest. I know it is cutting it incredibly close to the deadline, but hopefully that doesn't hurt me. Thanks to Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious for putting this together.

So I decided to call my entry "Mangoes and (coconut)Cream."


Started off by making some coconut custard ice cream based on the recipe in David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop. Also made a mango sorbet from the same book and layered them together before sticking it in the freezer. I'll have a post with a couple step by step pictures, but for the purposes of this cupcake you can use any store-bought mango ice cream, or coconut ice cream, or buy them both and layer them.

The cupcake I based off this recipe from epicurious.

Cupcake Ingredients

2 cans high quality coconut milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup cake flour
2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla bean extract

Cupcake steps

1) Place coconut milk in a sauce pan over medium heat, reduce by about 2/3 (you should have about 1 1/4 cup at the end). Took about 40 minutes for me. Cool before using.

2) Preheat oven to 350 and line 20 cupcake cups with paper liners

3) Sift flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

4) Cream butter in an electric mixer with the sugar

5) Add eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate in-between each egg

6) Add vanilla bean extract and mix to incorporate

7) Add half the flour mixture and mix on low to incorporate

8) Add about 1 1/4 cup of the reduced coconut (that is all I had left from my two cans). Mix until blended

9) Add the rest of the flour and mix on low until just incorporated

10) Divide batter in your liners, fill a little over halfway, then bake for about 18 minutes (I would start checking after 15)

11) Let cupcakes cook before filling

Then I made a mango butter-cream to fill the cupcake with. These are the proportions I used, but I ended up with about twice as much as I needed so adjust accordingly.

Mango Butter-cream Ingredients

2 ripe mangoes
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/4 cup sugar
3-6 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1 lime

Butter-cream steps

1) Peel and cut the mango into small pieces

2) Take 2/3 of your cup up mango and blend with lime juice and sugar until smooth

3) Beat your butter in an electric mixer till soft

4) Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, mix until incorporated

5) Add your pureed mango and mix until incorporated

6) Add more powdered sugar until it gets to the consistency that you need

7) Fold in the remaining pieces of mango

So now you have cooled down cupcakes, butter-cream, and ice cream. Using a small knife, cut out the center of your cupcake and fill with the butter cream. Stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden up a little bit. Top with a scoop of the ice cream and a couple slices of mango, and enjoy before they melt completely..



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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Before coming home for the summer, I had been on a six week "i'm only cooking vegetarian" kick. I was still eating meat when I went out/was over at a friends, but I just got really interested in learning how to be more inventive with vegetables, grains, and bold spices.

Since getting to LA, I've been wanting to make some meatless meals for my family. The only problem is that my siblings are incredibly picky eaters. Basically, if it has anything green or vegetable like in it, they will almost refuse to eat it. Then at work the other day I got to talking with someone about vegan cooking and she gave me a recipe for potato and kale enchiladas from the Veganomicon cookbook. This seemed like the perfect vehicle for attempting to get my family to eat a meatless meal with some veggies. As always, I generally followed the recipe but did stray in a few parts.

I made a fresh salad to accompany the enchiladas and finished it off with a strawberry summer cake. Check out the posts for each of those, or follow the jump after this picture for the step-by-step on the enchiladas.



I started off by making my own spice blend. Cumin, chili powder, marjoram, oregano, salt, and sugar.


You also need to roast off some pasilla or poblano peppers. I also added in a japaneno.
Cover them in oil and stick them under the broiler. They should be completely charred when done.
Stick them in a bag to steam, this will make them easier to peel later on.







After they have cooled down in the bag, peel off the thin outer membrane, along with all the char. Remove the stem and chunk of seeds that congregate along the stem, then chop up the chiles.






Next step is the sauce. Start off by sweating some chopped onion in olive oil.



After the onions are soft, add a couple tablespoons of the spice mixture and let it cook down in the oil. Add your diced tomatoes and chopped green chiles, let them simmer for about 20 minutes and then blend with an immersion blender (I used my ninja blender, a regular blender would probably work too)






Now for the potato and kale stuffing. First, steam some yukon gold potatoes


Then, brown some garlic in olive oil (until it is almost burn) and wilt the kale in the garlic oil


Finally, combine the potatoes with the kale, add some chicken stock, salt and pepper, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Mash together as it is cooking down.





All the components should now be ready to just assemble and bake.
I was originally going to dip the tortillas in the sauce to warm them up, but they kept falling apart so I just warmed them up separately and sauced them after they were in the casserole dish. Start off by putting a nice layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish.


Then put a heaping tablespoon of the stuffing in the tortilla.


Roll it up.



Arrange as tightly as possible in the dish


Cover it all with sauce.


Cover it with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 to 15.


And dinner is served.







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Strawberry summer cake from Smitten Kitchen - This is one of the easiest dessert recipes I've made, tastes absolutely delicious, and will impress anyone you have over for dinner. Hit the jump for the step by step.


Start off with some beautiful strawberries



Butter you baking dish. A 10 inch pie plate or a 9 inch cake pan will work. I went with a 10 inch spring-form pan



Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy



Add the egg and milk



Slowly mix in the flour, but be careful not to overmix



Layer as many strawberries as you can on top of the batter (I went with a little over a pound)



Sprinkle a few tablespoons of sugar on top of the strawberries to help them break down as it bakes



This is what it looks like halfway through




This is right before it came out of the oven. Let it cool before taking it out of the pan



Ready to eat


Slice and enjoy
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I wanted a really light side dish to go with the spicy enchiladas I made, so I went with this fresh salad I kind of threw together. Some raw radish and zucchini in a citrus vinaigrette, over some spinach. Follow the jump for more pictures.

Ready to eat
As with everything, the fresher your produce is, the better it will taste. You can basically use anything you think will taste good for this type of salad. I used a mandolin to have everything be as uniform as possible

Again, you can use any herbs you want. I went with some cilantro, parsley, and mint.

Once everything is prepped, make your vinaigrette and let it all meld together for at least 20 minutes. I used a ton of lemon juice, tiny bit of red wine vinegar and olive oil, and salt and pepper for mine.


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Sunday, June 17, 2012


One of the constants in our household is that we love something sweet after eating. I've always had a huge sweet tooth, and now I realize it totally came from my dad.

So I knew I needed to have a big finale for our father's day dinner, but I wanted something that wouldn't be in the oven for too long since I was braising in there. Realized there was a some beautiful fruit in season and decided to go with another one of my favorites. Sort of based off this fresh fruit and cream tart from joythebaker, but with some twists. Full set of pictures after.

Mango,peach, blueberries, and strawberries. Plus, my little addition, some mango jam.
Let your puff pastry sheet thaw out for about 30 minutes. Unfold it, and fold over all the edges, using some egg wash to seal them. This is going to be your crust since I didn't have an actual tart pan. Next you want to poke holes with a fork all over the middle so it doesn't rise as much.
Brush it all with egg wash and put it in a 400ish degree oven until it looks like this. As you can see, I didn't poke holes deep enough with the fork so it puffed up too much.

Cup up all your fruit as uniformly as possible. You can really use any soft, sweet fruit you'd like.
I forgot to take pictures of the next couple of steps. Beat some heavy whipping cream with some cream cheese and a tiny bit of sugar until soft. That gets spread on top of the puff pastry once it is cooled down. Stick it in the fridge to get cold while you heat up some mango jam and lemon juice on the stove. This is going to be your glaze.

Once the tart is cold, layer the fruit on top, and spoon the glaze onto the fruit. Refrigerate until after dinner.
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Welcome to my blog, where you can join me as I revel in my love of food. Eating it, cooking it, baking it, watching it on TV and even learning about it. If it has to do with food, I am probably interested.

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