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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The great vegan cupcake and other coconut butter stories




My friend Claire gave me some organic coconut butter. It was pure white and smelled delicious, like an expensive hand cream. But the only thing I can do with coconut butter is vegan puff pastry, and that's take time...also it is too hot now to make puff pastry! I wanted to try something different.


For my first experiment I tried some muffins, and used some standard ingredients: egg, sugar, milk, self rising flour...and coconut butter instead of normal butter.

Well, what can I say, they were...ok, but nothing more. The fact is that they were too rich for my taste (I am extremely fussy), too 'greasy'. They were eaten, of course, by family and friends, but I wouldn't make them again, so I won't bother with the recipe.



I gather that if coconut butter is so rich, maybe I could try to bake something without using other 'rich' ingredients like eggs and milk. (And if I failed again I would make hand cream!).
I had some coconut butter in a bowl, so I melted it in the oven. When melted, coconut butter becomes liquid, and very clear.
I measured 150ml of coconut 'oil'. I felt that my muffins would be very white, so I decided to use raw (brown) sugar for colour. Also I felt that, without the eggs, possibly I would not get really 'high' muffins, so I opted for cupcakes, used cupcake paper cups and planned a topping.



Vegan Cupcakes with Coconut Butter

Ingredients
150 ml melted coconut butter
100 g raw cane sugar
200 g self-rising flour
150 ml water
few drops of pure vanilla essence
Cherry jam

Using an electric beater mix the still warm and melted coconut butter with the sugar, then add the self rising flour and water, making sure that you don't get any lumps. Finally add a few drops of vanilla and divide the batter into 12 cupcake cases. Top each cupcake with a little cherry jam.




Bake at 180°C for approximately 20 minutes (check with a toothpick to see if the cupcakes are cooked). They will look quite pale! I tried one hot, then cold, They were light and fragrant, with a subtle hint of coconut. They keep soft for two days, after I don't know, we ate them all!




Decorating



No much time to think about this actually, I had guests for dinner and I was too busy with the main and dessert to indulge in further experiments. But I had some ready made Wilton Decorating Icing which, by reading the ingredients, looked vegan to me...so I just used that and a fresh cherry.

I rarely use ready made icing, and if I do it is generally white. Possibly next time I will just make some butter icing with coconut butter and sugar syrup, or just coconut butter and icing sugar. When I get more coconut butter, that is :-)! For now I am content with the cupcake "base", toppings will always change!


Photo by Alessandra Zecchini ©




4 comments:

  1. Cheers Jo, actually I got my iPhoto back in working order, the first photo got a 'colour treatment' ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never used coconut butter before, given that we use coconut a lot for Indonesian cooking back home. Interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know Arfi, I did a net search to find suggestions on how to use coconut butter, but there isn't much out there. Possibly it is not a very well known ingredient.

    ReplyDelete

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