Sunday, February 15, 2015

Coconut Pandan Cupcakes with White Chocolate Lemon Ganache

Tau Hway.
Pandan Waffles.
Pineapple tarts.
Kueh Bangkit.

The list of my favourite Asian sweets are endless, but my point being that they aren’t given enough spotlight in the blogosphere, and even cookbooks! So when I happen to chance upon a well written, beautifully photographed Asian dessert book like Allanbakes Really Good Cheesecakes, I get all giddy with excitement because it’s a chance to combine Asian ingredients ( think mangoes, coconuts, lychees ) with Western techniques.

The NLB in Singapore is extremely up to date with the latest cookbooks and I happened to chance upon Our Sweet Kitchen, by two Vietnamese authors. It’s a beautiful book with glossy pictures and even better – desserts from all over Asia! Next on my to do list – a caramelly Leche Flan from the Philippines and Banana Bread Pudding from Vietnam. The blogging / cooking world has been all abuzz about using natural, local ingredients. We don’t get much of that in Singapore, given that we have close to none natural resources. But baking with regional recipes and tropical ingredients is probably the next best thing, right?

Pandan waffles are one of my favourite treats to eat, I devour several weekly (YUM). So these cupcakes are heaaaaaaven~~ because they’re light and fluffy because of the whipped cream. Interestingly, all the fat content is derived from the whipping cream as there’s no butter OR oil. Coconut and pandan are a no brainer, so to punch up the flavor, I’ve tossed in an extra ¾ cup shredded coconut and some coconut flavor. The ganache is my new favourite, the temptation to lick it by the spoonful is overwhelming. It’s sweetened by the white chocolate and given a zesty tinge with the tropical spices and lemon.

Whipped Coconut Pandan Cakes (Makes 10 cupcakes)
Loosely adapted from Our Sweet Kitchen by Chi Anh Dao & Hoang Ang Nguyen

For the sugar syrup
25g water
25g brown sugar
¼ teaspoon coconut flavor

1. Boil the 3 ingredients together until the liquid comes to a boil, and let cool.

For the whipped cream cakes
1 cup sifted plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
125ml whipping cream
100g castor sugar
½ teaspoon coconut flavor
½ teaspoon pandan paste
¾ cup sweetened desiccated coconut (Extra for sprinkling)

1.  Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease baking pans or line 10 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Whip the egg and coconut flavor together. Pour the cream into another mixing bowl and whip the cream, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. On low speed, gradually whip in the egg mixture and the mixture will turn into a thick mayonnaise like consistency.
3.  Add the sugar and pandan paste in gradually and beat the mixture well.
4.  Taking a spatula, manually fold the flour into the mixture until all traces of white flour have disappeared. Gently stir in the sweetened coconut.
5.  Bake for 15 minutes in the muffin tin, rotating once after the halfway mark. Let the cupcakes cool for 2-3 minutes in the tin, then remove them.
6.  Using a wooden skewer, poke holes over the surface of the cake, and slowly brush the sugar syrup all over the cake.
7.  Use a spatula or a knife and generously frost each cupcake with a scoop of white chocolate ganache. Sprinkle on extra sweetened coconut as a finishing touch

Whipped White Chocolate Lemon Ganache (Makes about ¾ cup)
Adapted from The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle

6 ounces (170g) finely chopped white chocolate
1 cups heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon lemongrass powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1. Place the white chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the cream, spices and lemon zest to a gentle boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it stand for about 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then whisk the mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
3.Using the whisk attachment, beat the ganache at medium-high speed until the whisk begins to leave a trail in it and it has the consistency of soft whipped cream.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Baker’s Notes

1.    In Singapore, you can find pandan paste and coconut flavour at Phoon Huat stores. The cake gets it’s colour from the natural pandan hues.

2.    If you’re not a fan of coconut (then we can’t be friends… I’m kidding!), substitute coconut extract for vanilla. Corn and blueberry marry beautifully with pandan too.

No comments:

Post a Comment