Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thai Tea Cupcakes with Coconut Cream

A trip to Bangkok is effortless from Singapore, a mere 2.5 hours away and were soaking in the chaotic, bright and TASTY mess that is Thailand. Thai food is brilliant, with beautiful punches of lime, lemongrass and chili. Ive been on abit of a Thai food kick recently, whipping up elementary Pad Thai / Green Curry Fried Rice with chicken (recipe to follow soon! ) because the I love the feisty and rich flavours that are so easy to recreate.

This cupcake is easy to whip up, and brings me back to 2012 in Chiang Mai. We were university kids on a volunteer trip and raided the 7-11s like there was no tomorrow, and I FELL IN LOVE with their Thai ice tea on dispense. Creamy, cool and sweet, sort of like this cupcake. Its topped with a frothy, slightly sweet coconut cream and filled with Speculoos (just because I had some extra )

Thai desserts are often themed with coconut, and the pandan extract marries well with the Thai Tea, but substitute it with coconut extract or give it a miss if you cant find it in stores. ( I got mine at a local Phoon Huat)

Rather excited to share this recipe with my fellow volunteer mates who are actually coming over for dinner next week, cant wait to hear what they think!


Thai Tea Cupcakes (Makes 12 cupcakes or 1 9 inch round cake)
·       1/8 cup condensed milk
·     1 cup whole milk
·       3/4 Thai iced tea mix (see note, below)
·       1 3/8 cups cake flour
·       1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
·       ½ tsp. salt
·       1 stick (113g) butter, room temperature
·       3/4 cups sugar
·       2 eggs, room temperature
·       ½  tablespoon vanilla
·       ¼ teaspoon pandan extract (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the milk and condensed milk in a medium pot. Heat over medium or medium-high heat until scalded – steaming with bubbles forming around the edge – stirring occasionally. Add the tea mix, remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Pour through a sieve to strain out tea leaves. Let the mixture cool to somewhere between room temperature (a bit warmer is okay, too), using the refrigerator or freezer to cool down quickly if necessary. You can work on the next few steps while youre waiting for the milk mixture to cool down.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

4. Using an electric mixer (stand or handheld) on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (mixture should be pale yellow ).Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pandan extract.  Scrape down the beaters and the sides of the bowl as needed.

5. Reduce speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture. As soon as the flour is almost incorporated, add half the milk mixture. Repeat with a second third of the flour mixture, the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour, making sure not to overmix after each addition.

6.  Give the batter a final stir, scraping along the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure all lumps are incorporated and that there are no pockets of dry ingredients hiding in the batter.

7. Pour the batter into cupcake trays, about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes.  When done, the middle of the cake will spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip and a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come back with a few crumbs attached.

8. To assemble, core the cupcakes ¾ way through with an apple corer or paring knife. Using teaspoons, gently spoon speculoos spread into the cupcakes. Seal the hole with leftover crumbs. Top with a scoop of whipped cream and use a spatula to make random swirls. Sprinkle on leftover crumbs.

Coconut Whipped Cream (Recipe adapted from Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Cakes)
·      1 cup heavy whipping cream
·      ½ cup coconut cream
·      ½ teaspoon vanilla
1.      Beat the whipping cream, coconut cream and vanilla in a bowl on high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy and small peaks form.
2.    Refrigerate if not using immediately. Cold cream can be rewhipped if it becomes too firm in the fridge.

Baker’s Notes

1.      Use real ground Thai tea and not the instant mix.

2.    The coconut cream is GENIUS, frothy and lightly sweetened. It does not need any extra sugar.

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