Jackfruit, Banana, and Peanut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting24

cupcakes topped with chopped peanuts and salt

I have heard of Jackfruit. After all, I do live in San Francisco and get exposed to a variety of “exotic” ingredients. This was, however, my first time tasting it and to be honest, I am not sure how to describe it. I am told that I need to try the real (fresh) jackfruit as opposed to canned (canned was admittedly what I had on hand), but have also been warned of the amount of work it involves to wrangle one into submission. I have since learned that many Asian grocery stores sell manageable chunks of fresh jackfriut, so I wouldn’t have to commit to a large whole one.

So, while I can’t easily compare jackfruit to something familiar to the US palate, I will describe the resulting cupcakes as tasty starting off with a hint of banana then rounding out with a jackfruit or “tropical” flavor. They are dense and muffin-like with definite chew and crunch. The cake could be lightened up some by cutting back some on the jackfruit and peanuts.

Cupcakes
20 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces canned jackfruit, drained and chopped
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
2. In a separate medium sized bowl bowl, beat eggs to break up.
3. Add oil, coconut milk, and vanilla to the eggs and mix to combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix to combine.
5. Add jackfruit, mashed bananas, and peanuts to the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine.
6. Scoop into cupcake papers about 2/3s full with an ice cream scooper.
7. Bake at 350 degree oven for ~25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

jackfruit and banana
jackfruit & banana

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

Assembly
1. Frost cupcakes.
2. Chop some unsalted peanuts with salt.
2. Sprinkle peanuts on top of cupcakes

jackfruit, banana, and peanut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Thai Tea Cupcakes39

thai tea cupcake

I really, really want a solid Thai Tea cupcake recipe. I have been playing around with just about every product I could get my hands on and trying a variety of recipes and approaches. Getting the Thai tea flavor in the baked good was just not working. While the cake tasted fine… in most cases ended up tasting like corn and not Thai tea.

I finally decided to skip the flavor in the cake and focus it in the filling and frosting. I also used yet another new product and this one is my favorite so far. I made Thai Ice Tea per the directions and the result is most definitely whatever I am being served in San Francisco Thai restaurants… the Thai Tea flavor I am accustomed to and love.

These cupcakes tasted luscious – no funky after tastes, no cloying sweetness. The cake is the not-too-sweet balance to the creamy sweetness of the filling and frosting. We tried these soon after assembly and they just sort of burst into a creamy mass. I think with some time in the refrigerator the flavors will deepen, the filling will become one with the cake, and the experience should be equally as good, perhaps a little better, and definitely a bit neater.

I don’t know if this is the end of my search, but I am definitely pleased with what transpired today.

Cupcakes
15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large egg whites

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
4. Measure out vanilla and milk together.
5. Add about a third of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
6. Add about one half the milk mixture and beat until combined.
7. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture. Transfer to a bowl. Clean mixer bowl well and dry thoroughly.
8. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
9. Mix in about a half cup of egg whites in to the batter, then fold the batter into the egg whites, gently until all egg whites streaks are gone.
10. Scoop into cupcake papers about two thirds full.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

mise en place
mise en place

batter
batter

Thai Tea Creamy Filling

3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup Thai Tea syrup
4 large egg yolks

1. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt together and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, bring milk and Thai Tea syrup to simmer over medium-low heat.
4. Pour about a half cup of the milk over the dry mixture and mix to combine.
5. Transfer back into the pan and continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. About 5 minutes.
6. Slowly add a small amount of the hot mixture to the eggs and mix to combine. Transfer back into the pan and continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
7. Transfer to a bowl, let cool for 10 minutes. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

Note: You will have extra filling. I decided against splitting the recipe in half as it uses the 4 egg yolks for the 4 whites in the cake recipe. If you don’t want extra, try cutting the recipe in half.

thai tea syrup
thai tea syrup

Thai Tea Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package Phili cream cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Thai Tea syrup
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add half of the sugar and 1/4 cup of Thai tea syrup. Beat until combined.
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. Add more syrup to get to the flavor you want. I added 2 more tablespoons.

the cone
the cone

thai tea cream filling
thai tea cream filling

tops back on
replaced top

Assemble
1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon of cream filling.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Frost then sprinkle with crushed Thai tea leaves.

thai tea cupcake and thai iced tea

Recipe: Lychee-Coconut Cupcakes with Ginger-Cream Cheese Frosting, Candied Ginger Sprinkles, and Sugar Decorations22

Posted by chockylit in Cheese, Coconut, Spices, Thai-Inspired, Tropical Fruits (Monday August 15, 2005 at 2:20 pm)

The lychee and coconut flavors in these cupcakes are subtle, but decidedly tropical. The cake texture is crumbly and moist. The chopped lychee and coconut provide interesting texture variation. The unfrosted cupcakes are delicious and not too sweet, perfectly yummy on their own.

The frosting was fantastic as expected, when is cream cheese frosting not? I added about a tablespoon of fresh ginger which provided some texture, but added more and more ginger powder until I was happy with the bite. I can’t say exactly how much I added, but its best to just add to taste. The burnt caramel sugar decorations added a nice crunch and another layer of flavor.

Overall, these cupcakes tasted pretty special… very multi-dimensional and flavorful. The recipe should be a good starting point for any combination of tropical flavors.

Cupcakes
24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup oil
25 grams coconut cream powder (1/2 pack) dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces canned lychee fruit, drained and chopped
1 cup fresh coconut, grated (see note below on dealing with the fresh coconut)

1. mix flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium sized bowl
2. in a separate small bowl, beat eggs to break up
3. add oil to the eggs and mix to combine
4. add eggs/oil to the dry ingredients, mix to combine
5. add vanilla, lychee, and coconut to the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine
6. scoop into lined cupcake tins with an ice cream scooper
7. bake at 350 degree oven (325 convection) for ~20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

Ginger-Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or chopped fine
1 teaspoon ground ginger (the spice)

1. bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours
2. sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
3. beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy
4. add 4 cups of the sugar and beat until combined
5. add gingers and beat until combined
NOTE: If you are not sure how much ginger taste you might like, start by adding half the amount and taste/adjust until you get the ginger flavor you like.
6. add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

[optional] Sugar Decorations

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon glucose

1. put everything in a small saucepan over medium-high heat
2. stir until sugar dissolves
3. let boil until it reaches 320 degrees F, use a candy thermometer
4. brush down the sides with water as it boils (to prevent crystallization), don’t stir
5. prepare a small bowl of cold water to dip pan in once temperature is reached
6. transfer pan into bowl and quickly drizzle sugar syrup over a silicon mat or mold

Assembly

1. chop some candied ginger to sprinkle on the cupcakes
2. scoop a dollop of frosting on to each of the cooled cupcakes
3. sprinkle candied ginger on top
4. place sugar decoration on top of that

[note] Ah, The Coconut

There was to be only one option, fresh coconut. Fresh is always superior to dried, no? First I took an ice chipper and a hammer and poked a couple of holes into the coconut.


fig. 1 poking holes

I set the coconut over a plastic container to drain.


fig. 2 draining

Then I took the coconut, wrapped it in a towel, grabbed a hammer, and relocated to the front stoop. There I preceded to bang on the coconut until the darn thing gave. That took some brute force. It had been a while since I cracked a mature coconut and it proved to be mildly frustrating.


fig. 3 cracked

The cracked coconut and I returned to the kitchen where the flesh was separated from the shell with a butter knife. The brown skin was peeled off the flesh with a vegetable peeler. The flesh was rinsed in cold water and 4 ounces was weighed into a tared bowl.

I opted for using a food processor to grate the coconut flesh. Given the amount of time I had already invested in the coconut, hand grating with a box grater seemed extravagant. I grated in small batches in the hopes of getting at uniformity. It worked out fine. I am not sure just how much better the fresh coconut is compared to bagged, as I didn’t try the second option. I can only hope it was worth the effort.

Printable, PDF-version of the recipe.

Recipe: The Thai Ice Tea Cupcake Experiment #000211

Posted by chockylit in Cheese, Drink-Inspired, Experimental Recipe, Spices, Thai-Inspired (Saturday June 11, 2005 at 10:01 am)

I tried the fresh brewed option this past week. I didn’t get the results I wanted (obvious Thai ice tea flavor), but the cupcakes were still really tasty. I had gotten some good suggestions for sweetened condensed milk frosting from my last experiment. I whipped something up and was happy with the results. I will use it for my Vietnamese Coffee Cupcake which I will work on next month.

The cake: Similar to the first test, the cake was tasty, but not very Thai ice tea flavored. One taster said it tasted like it had corn in it, which it didn’t.

The frosting: I had some frozen Thai ice tea cream cheese frosting left over from the last test. Tasters really liked it, so I decided to do a layer of that topped with the sweetened condensed milk buttercream frosting. I really liked the way the two layers looked and I think the flavors worked well together.

Here is the recipe:

Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup home brewed Thai ice tea
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. drizzle the sugar mixture in with the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
3. sift flour, baking powder, and salt together
4. mix the Thai ice tea and vanilla together
5. add the flour mixture and tea mixture to the butter/sugar in 3 parts alternating between flour and tea and beating well after each addition
7. set aside incorporated mixture
8. in a clean mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form
9. fold egg whites into cake batter until incorporated
10. scoop batter into the prepared cupcake pans
11. bake in the 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

Sweetened Condensed Milk Buttercream Frosting
makes a small batch to top frosted cupcakes with

1 stick butter
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. sift confectioner’s sugar
3. add sweetened condensed milk and about a half of the sugar to the butter and beat until combined
4. add remaining confectioner’s sugar in stages until desired consistency is achieved

Assembly
1. transfer a tablespoon of cream cheese frosting onto each cooled cupcake
2. smooth out with a small pallet knife
3. pipe a dollop of sweetened condensed milk buttercream on top of the cupcake

NOTE: I would be lost without this book, In The Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Baker’s Companion. Its thorough substitution chart is invaluable when swapping out ingredients.

Thai Ice Tea Update2

Posted by chockylit in Drink-Inspired, Thai-Inspired (Sunday June 5, 2005 at 11:22 am)

I had an email conversation with someone very knowledgeable about Thai products. We discussed the pluses and minuses of the various Thai Ice Tea options. Basically, home brewed will result in the most authentic flavor and if brewed correctly (which takes about 2+ hours) will be very strong. So, I am brewing my own right now and hope to make some cupcakes with it today. In addition, I plan on doing a buttercream with sweetened condensed milk for the frosting.

Recipe: The Thai Ice Tea Cupcake Experiment #000117

Posted by chockylit in Cheese, Drink-Inspired, Experimental Recipe, Spices, Thai-Inspired (Sunday May 15, 2005 at 7:08 pm)

I am planning on developing two new-to-me cupcakes, Thai ice tea and horchata. With the Thai ice tea cupcake, I really want the flavor of the thai ice tea as well as sweetened condensed milk. I tried out a Thai ice tea cupcake recipe this past weekend.

The cake: The cake came out pretty good, it was tasty and had a nice crumb, but the Thai ice tea flavor was much too subtle. For the next experiment, I plan to brew tea instead of use instant thai ice tea, maybe that will get me the flavor I want. Otherwise, I am happy with the result.

The frosting: My plan was to take a seven minute frosting recipe and get some sweetened condensed milk in there some how. Two attempts, one involving heating the milk, the second involving adding it to a completed seven minute frosting, both failed… well, I ended up with a sweetened condensed milk foam. It could be nice in a different context, but was too sweet atop the cupcake. More work needed on the frosting for sure…

I planned to bring this experiment to the craftactory the next day, so I wanted to end up with something edible if not completely successful. So, I decided to make a cream cheese frosting with a hint of thai ice tea.

The result of the experiment became: Thai ice tea cupcake with Thai ice tea cream cheese frosting and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. The cream cheese overpowered any flavor of thai ice tea, but was yummy. The cupcakes were a hit at craft day, so that’s good… Recipe #0001 follows.

Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes
350 degree oven

1 stick butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 packets instant thai ice tea
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. mix instant thai ice tea powder and sugar together
3. drizzle the sugar mixture in with the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes
4. sift flour, baking powder, and salt together
5. mix the milk and vanilla together
6. add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter/sugar in 3 parts alternating between flour and

milk and beating well after each addition
7. set aside incorporated mixture
8. in a clean mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form
9. fold egg whites into cake batter until incorporated
10. scoop batter into the prepared cupcake pans
11. bake in the 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean

Frosting

1 stick butter
2 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 packet instant thai ice tea
2 tablespoons hot water
4 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. soften butter in the mixer on high speed
2. add cream cheese and beat until combined
3. sift confectioner’s sugar
4. dissolve thai ice tea powder in 2 tablespoon of hot water
5. add about half of the confectioner’s sugar and the thai ice tea to the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat on high speed to combine
6. add remaining confectioner’s sugar in stages until desired consistency and sweetness is achieved

Assembly
1. transfer a tablespoon of frosting onto each cooled cupcake
2. smooth out with a small pallet knife
(optional) 3. drizzle sweetened condensed milk on top of each frosted cupcake

Note: I had a good amount of frosting left over (about 1/3 of the volume). I am usually ok with that, as I freeze the left overs and use them later on. Never hurts to have cream cheese frosting at the ready.

Coconut Lime Cupcakes16

Posted by chockylit in Citrus, Coconut, Thai-Inspired (Sunday April 17, 2005 at 11:19 am)


My first try at these Thai-inspired cupcakes involved:

- taking a standard buttercream recipe and swapping the milk for fresh lime juice and adding some lime zest
- taking a standard vanilla cake recipe and removing the vanilla and swapping 1/4 cup of milk for 1/4 cup of lime juice and adding some zest

I then topped the frosted cupcakes with toasted, unsweetened coconut that I tossed in some granulated sugar.

All in all the cupcakes tasted pretty good, but I found them for one too sweet and secondly tasting mostly of lime and not so much of coconut. I plan to mess with the recipe some and see if I can’t get at something a little less cloying. For one, I plan to substitute most of the milk with coconut milk and plan on getting some fresh coconut in there somewhere.

More pictures of the cupcakes are here.