Limoncello and coconut cupcakes

 

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I’m in dire need of a holiday this week. But alas, work is crazy, life is crazy…so much going on! So you do what you can everyday; little indulgences along the way. A little bit of baking, a good book and some everyday pampering goes a long way. My current pamper comes straight from my girlfriend who introduced me to her amazing body scrub, Butt Naked, and this has become  my new favourite morning ritual. I’ll admit, I’m a bit obsessed.

It’s incredible; vegan, locally made and owned, organic…ticks all the boxes. But most importantly for me; it smells DIVINE. The lemon and coconut scrub is my go-to product now and just transports me to a sunny beach; by the time I’m back to reality I’m all silky smooth, hydrated and smelling sweet.

But I’ve got to say; it makes me hungry. Some times stepping out of the shower to my coffee and toast just doesn’t cut it after my little beach day dream. Today was one of those days and with a whole morning free (A rarity! It’s amazing!) I hit the pantry and whipped up some vegan limoncello and coconut cupcakes.

I will admit I’m a FULL-ON butter and cream (all from sustainable farms of course!) lover but there seems to be a myth going around that vegan baking is somehow sub-par. All anyone needs to do to dispel that is hit up Mr Nice  Guys bakery in Melbourne to dispove that. Using them as an inspiration I’ve decided to make up a cupcake that’s decadent and fun; hello limoncello! This recipe makes up an incredible moist coconut cake with a nice citrus hit, limoncello lemon curd and vegan-buttercream icing. YUM.

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (divided)

      Limoncello lemon curd

  • 1 14-ounce (414 ml) can coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (~4 g) lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp (14 g) arrowroot starch or corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons limoncello (or more to taste if you like a boozey hit)Vegan coconut buttercream 
  • 1 cup vegan margarine (Nuttalex is my preferred)
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut creamMETHOD

    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, rind, salt, and 1/2 cup of the coconut. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar.

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    Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Pour into prepared cupcake liners and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Cool completely.

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    Next, place sugar and lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan and whisk to combine over a medium heat and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and arrowroot (or corn) starch to a small mixing bowl and whisk to thoroughly dissolve. Then add to coconut cream mixture and stir. Lastly, add limoncello and whisk again until well combined.

    Add your mixing bowl ingredients to your saucepan and whisk over a medium heat. Once it starts bubbling and getting thick, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until a visible ribbon forms when spooning a bit of the curd across the top. It should be thick and kind of jiggly in texture. During this process switch to a rubber spatula for stirring to ensure the curd isn’t sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan.Remove from heat and taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest for acidity/brightness. Cool completely and pop into the fridge for 3-4 hours to set.
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    Take your completely cooled cupcakes and cut a small circle into the top of the cupcake. Using a cupcake scoop (or small measuring spoon will suffice) remove a scoop from the middle of the cupcake and discard. Neatly fill this void with the cooled lemon curd; this will give a beautiful citrus surprise into the cupcake when you bit into it!

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    For the ‘buttercream’, carefully mix your margarine, icing sugar and coconut cream with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. If you are feeling a little fancy spoon into a piping bag and use a star shaped noozle to pipe onto your cupcakes, completely concealing your lemon curd. If you are feeling rustic, feel free to dollop directly onto the cupcake and smooth with a flat bladed knife. Top with the remainder of your shredded coconut, lemon slices and a few sprigs of mint if you wish.

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    Happy baking,

    Snoz xx

Keep on Scrollin! Cinnamon, dark choc and golden syrup scrolls

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Last weekend was all about endurance for me. Myself and three other brave women took on the Oxfam Trail Walker- 100km in 36 hours; walking from Friday morning all the way through to Saturday evening,  even braving a 7 degree Friday night in the depth of the hills. It was exhausting, agonizing, limit- testing, amazing, fun, powerful; so many things. But it was certainly not relaxing.

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92km’s in and had been walking for 32 hours. Still smiling though!

So this week is all about comfort for me. Catching up with girlfriends, spending some time at home….and food for the soul. At the peak of our freezing cold night of hiking all I was thinking of was warm, freshly baked goods…(well, and my bed; good god, how I wanted my bed)…and nothing is more comforting than freshly baked breads.

Scrolls to be exact; Hot, sticky, risen in the sun scrolls. These are perfect to be shared and the easiest recipe to tweak to any particular cravings. This week I’m thinking cinnamon, dark choc, sultana and golden syrup. Rich and warm.

But in the summer or spring these could be a peach jam and dried apricot mixture.  A hot jam doughnut inspired berry jam and sugar. So versatile depending on what you have in the pantry and what tickles your fancy on the day. The dough is taken from the awesome Raspberry Scroll recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction; see here for this beauty of a recipe too; http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/12/16/raspberry-swirl-sweet-rolls/

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DOUGH

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 standard size packets)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (562g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling

FILLING

  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon (or to taste; this will give you a HUGE cinnamon kick so start liberally)
  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrupDIRECTIONS
    1. Make The Dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer (ideally with a dough hook, but I’m not that fancy; standard works just fine). With a spoon, manually stir in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt.On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 8-10 minutes longer.IMG_2667[1]
    2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
    3. Butter/grease/spray with non-stick spray the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Personally, I’m not so great at the accuracy for this; if you are pedantic you can use a ruler and scribe but I’m more of an eye-ball kind of girl.
    4. Combine your softened butter and cinnamon and spread thickly over the entire dough rectangle. Make sure you take it all the way to the edges!
    5. Take your chopped dark chocolate and spread evenly across the dough. Drizzle the golden syrup across the top

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    6. Starting from the furthest edge from you, roll up the edges to create an 18 inch log. Slice this into 12 equal slices and lay out across your baking tray. Cover the rolls and place back into your warm area for another 2 hours to rise.

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    7. After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. If you are feeling a little generous, drizzle over a little more golden syrup. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the golden syrup is bubbling. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
    8. Drizzle with additional golden syrup if you want a super sticky top; brush the top with a glaze of 2 tablespoons icing sugar and 4 tablespoons of boiling water.

      Brushing this across the scrolls will give you a beautiful glossy finish!Enjoy and happy baking, 

Snoz xx