LB is an admin assistant who works for the lawyers at the mothership. LB is a lovely lady - bright, funny and a girly girl who loves fashion and pretty things. She is travelling to the US for the very first time (in fact, she will already be there), and will not return to work until mid-January.
As part of her grand tour across the US, LB intends to visit a few cupcake bakeshops, because she absolutely adores cupcakes. If you come across a bubbly young Aussie in a cupcake bakeshop near you, it may just be LB.
To wish LB well, I made her and her colleagues a batch of cupcakes that I thought she might really like - marshmallow coconut cloud cupcakes from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham. To make these cakes even pinker and sparklier, I decorated them with pink conversation lollies, silver cachous and pink edible glitter. LB loved them - hooray! They were very good, but very sweet, as you can imagine. The recipe called for coconut milk, which I didn't have, so I substituted buttermilk and added coconut essence.
To make a full batch of 24 of these cupcakes (I only made a half batch) with my modifications, you will need:
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 egg whites
200g butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon coconut essence
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line 2 x 12 hole muffin tins with cupcake papers.
Put the coconut in a food processor and process for around 4 minutes to make it very fine. Place the coconut in a bowl with the flour, baking powder and salt, and stir to combine.
In another bowl, combine the eggs and egg whites, but do not beat.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly and beat in until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla essence.
Stir the coconut essence through the buttermilk. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and milk alternately to the batter in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake papers, and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the marshmallow frosting, you will need:
3 egg whites
480g white sugar
3 teaspoons light corn syrup (I used maple syrup and it was fine, but frosting was not as stiff)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pink food colouring
In a heatproof bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the flavouring and colouring. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water so that the bowl is not touching the water, and beat the frosting continuously with an electric mixer until it becomes light and fluffy and forms soft peaks.
Remove the frosting from the heat and stir through the vanilla and colouring to the desired hue. Whisk the frosting until it forms stiff peaks, and transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes, starting at the outside edge and working into the middle in a circular motion, finishing with a central peak. Decorate as desired.
These cupcakes are ever so cute, and very yummy. They would be perfect for a little girl's birthday or a big girls' afternoon tea - and even the boys enjoyed them.
Before I go, I wanted to mention that I am one of the lucky winners of Natalia's (Gatti Fili E Farina) "Pay It Forward" competition, where the prize is a homemade treasure by Natalia. The great thing about being a winner is that you have to be willing to do the same.
Here is an explanation of the concept and the rules from Natalia:
"There are so many lovely giveaways in blogland, bloggers eagerly commenting and abuzz with the excitement of winning an unexpected gift, but that’s it. Someone wins, and then the generosity comes to a screeching halt and we go on with our lives. Nice, but lacking in momentum. This giveaway is a little different, however, because the “receivers” are also to become “givers”, if you will. In fact, that’s the most important rule of the game…
The rules are simple: I will send three people who leave a comment on this post a handmade gift within the next 365 days. I am willing to post anywhere in the world, so don’t let that stop you from commenting.
The catch is that you must have a blog and be willing to do the same thing…"
On that note, if you would like to participate, please leave a comment on this post between now and 8am Australian Eastern Standard Summertime on Sunday, 14 December 2008 (which will be sometime on Saturday for most people in the Northern Hemisphere). I will put the name of everyone who comments during that time into a hat, and the first three names drawn (to be announced sometime the same day) will receive a homemade treasure from me over the course of the next 365 days. Have fun!