Monday, 30 September 2013

Coconut Cupcake with ButterCream Icing sprinkled with Toasted Coconut Flakes

Everybody that bakes has a secret cupcake recipe that she/he whips out when trying to impress other people (especially non-bakers). I have two and I'm willing to share one of them not because I'm a generous kinda person but because it's just too delicious to keep to one's self! Behold my Coconut Cupcake with ButterCream Icing sprinkled with Toasted Coconut Flakes (Quite a mouthful I know but how else can I capture it's very essence in just 3-to-4 words?)

(For 12 Cupcakes)

115 g/4 oz butter, softened or soft tub margarine (room temperature)

115 g/4 oz caster sugar (you can put normal sugar in a blender and blend to make particular finer)

2 tbsp milk 

2 eggs, lightly beaten

85 g/3 oz self raising flour (add 1 tsp of baking soda to 110g of plain flour to make your own self-raising flour, measure out the 85g you need and set aside)

1/2 baking powder

85 g/3 oz desiccated coconut (can't find desiccated coconut to buy? click HERE to learn how to make yours at home)

55 g/2 oz butter, softened (I prefer I Can't believe It's Not Butter, it just smells heavenly)

115 g/4 oz icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

Medium toasted coconut flakes (toast 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut and 1/2 tsp of sugar on a frying pan on low heat stirring till coconut flakes browns slightly)

Spice Girl Chronicles II: Coconut Chicken Curry

I cannot begin to describe just how much I love Indian food.  The flavours, smells and texture just does wonderful things to my senses, being a very picky eater (as a child I would only eat rice and stew, yam and egg, beans and little gari).  My fussiness when it comes to food is kinda serious as I would never touch most diary products (can't stand milk, butter, cheese not like I'm lactose intolerant) and bread, while I don't mind milk, butter and cheese cleverly hidden in food, I would run to the toilet to throw up if I catch a whiff of butter in anything or that funny smell of fresh milk.

I decided to do another Indian food post not because I have nothing else to cook/post but simply because most of the spices have short shelf lives (like 6 months averagely) so it's best to use them as quickly as possible before they lose their lovely freshness! Besides who cares how many times one cooks Indian food when they all come out insanely delish?!

Coconut Chicken Curry is a favourite of the house as it is devoured as soon as I finish cooking it.  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as me and mine do.  Trust me the outcome outweighs the seemingly hard-work. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Spice Girl Chronicles: (Extremely Hot and Spicy) Chicken Vindaloo

From the picture above it's pretty obvious how much of a spice girl I am.  Matter of fact I don't think I've ever met a spice I didn't like, the sight of all these exotic spices staring rather lustfully at me anytime I open my spice treasure trove just leaves me all giddy and warm inside. Don't be put off by all the names of the spices on my menu, if you live in Lagos a quick trip to Spar, Park n Shop or Shoprite will sort you out in the spice regard (you can also get them where Asians love to shop for food, better still make friends with your Indian colleague at work and I'm sure they will be pleased to get some for you when next they travel home or tell you where you can get cheap spices or even better still give you some from their own stash).

This weekend I decided to cook an Indian meal (Indian-Portuguese to be exact) I absolutely love but haven't cooked myself before.  I ate it once and liked the spiciness and richness it had so when I found my stash of brown sugar somewhere in my baking supply cupboard I decided to give it a go. Like a lot of Indian food, this meal is practically brimming with spices, to be honest it's not the easiest meal to cook but with patience and perseverance you could have a meal that you can whip out anytime you want to impress your friends that you're an Indian-food-cooking-genius.

800g chicken, washed and cut into bite size pieces
2 large onions, sliced, sauteed in a tbsp of oil till caramalized (slightly browned), cool and make paste
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (Click Here to learn how to make yours at home)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
4 tbsps vinegar + 1 tsp brown sugar (set it aside for a minimum of 15mins)
Salt to taste
2 tbsps oil