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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Semi-Homemade Coconut-Lemon Cupcakes

Now and then we all want something sweet and cupcakes are the perfect size to satisfy that craving for cake. Last night I didn't feel like weighing out all the ingredients so I just thought I'll do something semi-homemade.

After all nobody will notice if you don't tell and you save a ton of time, by using a box and just switching out some of recommended ingredients and adding to it.

Here is what you need for these Semi-Homemade Coconut-Lemon Cupcakes:

1 pkg. Pillsbury Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix
3 Eggs
1 Cup finely shredded Coconut, dry
1.5 cups Coconut Milk
1 tsp. Coconut Flavor
1 Lemon, just the zest
1/3 cup of oil

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cup  C & H powdered sugar
1 Lemon, juice from the lemon you just zested

To decorate:
Icing (going with the semi-homemade I used store bought)
Coconut flakes
C&H powdered sugar

Prepare the cupcake batter just as described on the package, but instead of the water, use the coconut milk and then add in the coconut flakes, lemon zest. Divide the batter evenly in 2 twelve count cupcake pans and bake as instructed on the package or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking prepare a lemon glaze with the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. The consistency should be like a thick syrup. Once the cupcakes are baked, remove them from the oven, prick them allover with a toothpick or a skewer and immediately brush with the lemon glaze, so the tops are coated and the glaze will be absorbed into the cupcakes.

Let the cupcakes cool, top with icing and coconut flakes. I found it easiest to dip the iced cupcakes into a small bowl with the coconut flakes, that way you don't get the flakes all over your kitchen.

If you want, sprinkle with a little powdered sugar and with a kitchen torch, toast the coconut slightly. Make sure you set the flame to low otherwise you are going to burn the coconut. I got my torch at

Now arrange on a nice plate, make yourself some coffee and dig in! Bon Apetit!

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Friday, September 9, 2011

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home made fruit infused Vodka

I had a lot of raspberries, some watermelon and cherries sitting in my fridge and couldn't decide what to do with them so I thought I'd make some fruit-infused vodka. Of course you can buy them in the store, but trust me those don't taste nearly as good as what you can make at home.

Sure you need a little patience, but it is so totally worth it!

What you need is a bottle of decent vodka, some sugar, fruit like raspberries, watermelon, cherries, blackberries etc., maybe some mint leaves and a few empty jars.

For the Raspberry/Mint Flavor:

Rinse the raspberries and a few mint leaves, put them in a jar, add 2 tbsp of sugar and then top off with vodka until all the berries are covered, close the lid and shake lightly so all the sugar dissolves. Store in the fridge for about 4 to 5 weeks and it's ready to use.

For the Cherry Flavor, wash your cherries, cut in half and discard the pit, then add them to the jar with the sugar (you can leave that out if you don't want it) and proceed the same as with the raspberry flavor)

So all in all I made 3 flavors: 

Raspberry Mint

And for Labor Day I made myself a refreshing drink!

Add a few ice cubes to a glass, a shot and a half (or so) of the raspberry vodka (that all depends on how strong you like your drink) add a few of the drunken berries, a spritz of lime, and top of with tonic water! 

Delicious and very refreshing! Also the vodka tastes GREAT just as a shot as well!

Try it, it's easy and adds some personality to your vodka. On top of that you'll get to brag on how you made an Artisan Product!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Streuselcake with Plums

This time of year we have so many different fruit and I wanted to make something that I hadn't made in a very long time. Something that reminded me of home, of my grandmother and sunny afternoons out on the patio with a cup of coffee and cake.

I had some fresh plums at home and wanted to use them, so I decided to make a "Streuselkuchen" a Streusel Cake with fresh plums, as I think Streusel alone is a bit boring, when you add some fruit to it, like plums, apricots, apples etc. the tart/sweet flavor of the fruit and the light sweetness of the cake make it so much better.

So here  is what you need for the dough/batter for a 9 inch spring form pan:

250 g Flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (I prefer  C&H superfine)
50 g butter, unsalted cut in small pieces

1 envelope of Red Star Yeast
200 ml milk, lukewarm
dissolve the yeast in the milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and sugar, then while mixing (I used the paddle attachment on my KitchenAid Artisan) add the little butter pieces, slowly add in the milk/yeast mixture and then the egg. Mix the dough well until all the butter pieces are well incorporated and the dough is nice and smooth.

Spread the dough in the prepared spring form pan and let it rise until it is double in size.

While the dough is resting you can prepare your "Streusel" and your fruit topping.

For the "Streusel":

40 g flour
60 g sugar
60 g ground almonds
50 g melted butter, unsalted

Mix the flour, sugar and almonds in a small bowl, pour in the melted butter and stir until little lumps form, set aside.

4 medium size plums, cut in eights

Once your dough has risen to about double the size, arrange your fruit on top of it in a nice pattern, top with "Streusel" and bake on the middle rack of the preheated 425F/220C oven for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool down and serve! But it also tastes fabulous right out of the oven! And it will look like this!