Category Archives: Dessert Finds

I’m Back! Coconut Milk Cupcakes

Hey guys! So it’s been exactly a month and one day since my last post! Which means, it’s been way too long! My trip abroad was absolutely amazing! I’ll share some delightful dessert photos from it at the end of the post. I came back from my trip tired and happy. But, a few days into my groggy stupor of jet-lag, I started jonesing for some baked goodness. I found some coconut milk in our fridge and thought, it must be a sign!

Now, I must admit, due to my jet-lagged stupor, I did cut some corners with the recipe which made not so pretty consequences with the frosting. As you can see form the photo, the frosting was a little drippy, haha! They still tasted yummy, especially the cupcakes themselves, but, I’d advise you not cut corners and follow the recipe to the “T”. So what I didn’t do was reduce the coconut milk. It takes a good a few hours and I just didn’t want to wait. Lesson learned! Haha! But, you’re supposed to reduce the coconut milk for the cupcakes, as well and they turned out just delectable. So you can take that for what it is :)

So first, reduce your coconut milk! [Directions at the bottom]

Now once your coconut milk is reduced and chilled AND then brought back to rom temp [hah!]. Preheat your oven to 350! Beat the butter till smooth then add the sugar and beat unti light and fluffy.

Then mix 2 eggs one at a time. Once that us incorporated mix in seeds from vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract. Mix in the last egg!

Mix all the remaining dry ingredients together. Then alternating, beat in half the dry ingredients and half the coconut milk till it’s all gone. Pour into your prepared cupcake pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when touched. The batter makes a lovely light cake.

My cupcakes look deflated because I didn’t test them before I took them out. The recipe says 20 minutes, but mine definitely needed an added 5-7 minutes to poof up. My second batch looked much cuter. :)

Make your frosting with your reduced coconut milk. If you dont reduce it, like me, the frosting is too liquidy and will look curdled and be a little drippy. Haha, all the things you don’t want in frosting! It still tastes yummy, but half the fun in cupcakes is the aesthetics. Anyway here’s my less than pleasing to the eye frosting:

I placed it in a piping bag and piped on the frosting.

I then decided to dabble on some sprinkles to try and avert the eye from the oddly oozing frosting haha!

All in all they were quite tasty! They just looked a tad…off. Heh, lesson learned: never cut corners in the science of baking [unless it's proven successful!]. I’d recommend to just reduce your coconut milk before using and you’ll have tasty AND cute cupcakes.

Coconut Milk Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 13-to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk [this is for both the cupcakes and the frostin]
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup reduced coconut milk, room temperature

DIRECTIONS 

For reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan, so be careful!). Reduce heat to mediumlow; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). For those of you who are lazy, like me, DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Bring out of fridge when you’re ready to use and make sure it’s at room temp.

For cupcakes:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.

Coconut Milk Frosting

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
  • Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (for garnish) or…sprinkles :)

DIRECTIONS

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to mediumhigh and beat until light and fluffy.

Pipe on cooled cupcakes with whichever tip you want and garnish accordingly. :)

Alright, so I promised to show some delectable Turkish and Italian dessert photos from my recent trip. Here you are!

Let’s start with Turkey:

We walked through the streets of Istanbul and saw shops and restaurants with gorgeous vitrines full of yummy delights! Here there are different puddings.

Then we saw this delicious looking profiterole concoction.

This was a delicious honey cake I did try later and it was amazing!

On the right is a type of solidified rice pudding that was my mom’s favorite by far. I wasn’t too fond of the graininess in the texture, but it was fun to try!

We, obviously, came across a myriad of baklava:

We also came across and ate a ton of Turkish Delights!

We never got the chance to try these, but they looked very interesting. Tehy were balls of halva rolled into different kinds of nuts.

Then on the last night in Turkey, I got this amazing honey drenched cake with clotted cream dolloped in top. I still have longing dreams about this amazing dessert.

My mom chose a different version of her favorite broiled rice pudding with a scoop of Turkish vanilla ice cream.

Now, on to Italy!

While in Rome, I had my first Italian Cannoli! Delish!

 

 

Of course, we had our fair share of gelato!


Had one of the tastiest Tiramisu’s in my life ata little restaurant in front of the Trevi Fountain called, Il Chianti.

We washed it down with some espresso.

And then, our veri friendly waiter brought us some after dessert delights of chocolate dipped almond slivers.

On a different evening, after stuffing myself with too much pasta, I needed a light dessert and was surprised with a very fresh and sweet bowl of fragola [strawberries] topped with a mascarpone cream. Mmmmmm

Then, while in Florence, near the Duomo, I saw these cute little guys called: Baba. Baba in Farsi means Dad and my dad didn’t come with us on the trip and I missed him a lot so I thought it was a sign that I should buy one. It was delicious. It was a little sponge cake soaked in honey and alcohol. Yum!

Another Florentine treat I had was Cantucci di Prato. It’s delicious anise flavored biscotti that you dip in sweet wine. Here were some Cantucci in a vitrine. I, unfortunately, didn’t take a photo of the one I ate.

A different night in Florence, my Aunt and I had panna cotta. Mine was topped with chocolate and hers with fruit.

My mom, on the other hand, had an interesting take on tiramisu. It was Tiramisu with fruit in it and the lady fingers were soaked in Grand Marnier instead of Espresso.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. And now, I’m back to continue my love of baking and sharing it with you guys!

 

Hope you Enjoyed!

-Me

 

Sweet Adeline Bakeshop

Okay, so first off, yes, it’s been a long while since I’ve updated. For shame, Melody! I know! I know! But I am going to remedy the situation. Not to worry, I have been documenting my baking life since the last time I updated so we have a lot to catch up on! Which means, lots of fun posts coming up!

So per one of my readers’ requests, I checked out Sweet Adeline Bakeshop when I was in Berkeley next. And may I say, it was absolutely amazing!

The display inside was absolutely scrumptious!

The staff was really friendly and patient (I took a really long time deciding what I wanted because I was so overwhelmed with all the choices!). Plus, there was ample room to sit, which I find very important in bakeshops.

I was very tempted in taking this entire cake with me.

But, for the sake of sugar death, I opted to go with this delicious vegan oatmeal cookie and a cup of joe.

The cookie was perfect and their coffee was very good, as well. Thanks for the suggestion! I definitely recommend this place if you’re ever up in Berkeley.

Happy Baking!

Mel

A Sweet Design Bakery — Granada Hills, CA

I was SO excited to find out that there was finally a bakery near my parents house in Granada Hills called A Sweet Design. As a child I would long for a nearby bakery I could ride my bike to and buy a delicious treat at. Alas, I now live in Los Angeles, but whenever I visit my parents I can trek down to this lovely cupcakes shop and buy a treat!

I followed the signs along the side of the building. I thought they were cute.

The building was very beautiful, bright vines covered its facade and they had changed the awnings to a colorful pink.

I walked inside and was greeted with this pretty vitrine.

I saw these and immediately knew what I wanted.

But, it was still a difficult decision because of these guys:

The bakery also does custom cakes. There were lots of people there doing consultations with the cake designers when I stopped in. I walked out happily with my butterscotch cupcake.

I took it home with me and immediately dug in:

The cake was deliciously moist and had little pieces of butterscotch hidden in the batter. It was amazing. I will definitely be coming back to this place :)

Have a great Wednesday!

-Me

Santa Monica Outing with my Uncle

So the last weekend my Uncle was in America, we took him out to Third Street and I found a few cute places I wanted to share. First and foremost: Yummy Cupcakes.

I really liked them because their shop was a comfortable size. Not too big, the vitrine was still the grandest thing in there, but not too small, there was still room for tables and chairs for the patrons. The best part was the very creative flavors and looks of the cupcakes.

I saw this one and the wheels in my mind immediately started turning.

This one, I thought was really cool, as well.

I didn’t get why the apple martini had a cherry on top, but they looked cute.

So I bought the Apple Blue Cheese Cupcake:

It was delicious!

We also went to this gelato place called Angelato’s.

Here’s my dad and my uncle posing in front of the gelato:

I chose lime:

And at the end of the night we were so frozen. Here’s my mom and uncle freezing, waiting for my dad come with car.

Anyway, it was a really fun night and I had a great time with my Uncle. I miss him a lot and I hope I can visit him soon in Iran.

Hope you all enjoyed!

Me

A Trip Through Berkeley

Okay, so I know this isn’t a lot about baking, but I had to share my last trip to Northern California because I had so much fun!

So first off, I went to my favorite Cafe in Berkeley Crixa Cakes. In college, I came here often, ordered a slice of cake and read.

So I went there twice during my Berkeley trip. The first time I got this:

Flourless Chocolate Cake and a vanilla latte. Delicious!

One thing I love is their beautiful vitrine:

So then on a different day, I went to one of my other favorite places in Berkeley, with my friend Joe.

We went to Cheeseboard.

And we ate this:

Asiago cheese, truffle oil, caramelized onions and fresh parsley. Cheeseboard never fails to impress me.  Then I went to the Cheeseboard bakery and bought a double chocolate loaf.

We also walked around the flower market next door and I took a couple photos.

Later I decided that Joe had to finally make a visit to Crixa Cakes. I couldn’t stand a Cal grad not having been to the best cafe/bakery in town. So we headed over. We shared an amaretti cream cake and I got this amazing dark chocolate drink with steamed milk called an old fashioned romantic. :)

Needless to say, we enjoyed it.

Later on in the day, I found this place:

Oh, Berkeley, sometimes, I really miss you. Most of all though, I miss Berkeley because it is the current home of this man:

I love him so much. We celebrated our Valentine’s day by going to Burger Bar in San Francisco. It’s one of my favorite chef’s restaurants, Hubert Keller. The burgers were AMAZING, but even more so, the milk shakes were to die for. We got this one:

It’s coffee ice cream with caramel sauce and butterscotch chips. Mmmmmm. This is what it looked like around 2 minutes later:

It was a very beautiful week in a city that really had a lot to do with who I am. I miss Berkeley and the yummy treats and especially the handsome boy namedRobin who lives there. :)

Have a good day!

Mel

Angelina’s

Angelina's :)Okay, so I went to Paris this summer. Well, Paris was one of the many places. I actually went on this huge excursion to Iran, Turkey, the Philippines and then France! So, we were in Paris for 2 weeks and I, obviously, was looking forward to all the pastries. Me and the Eiffel Tower

Thanks to my Paris Frommer’s Guide book, we had a list of different restaurants. We decided to hit a cute little place next to the Louvre, called Angelina’s.

We left in the morning on an excursion to a flea market that really didn’t pan out the way that we wanted it to. We couldn’t find it, then we found it, but then we walked the wrong way, then we back tracked and well, long story short, we were hungry and tired and annoyed.

SO, change of plans, let’s leave this place and head over to Angelina’s for lunch and dessert :). We got off at the Tuileries Metro stop and started walking away from Louvre till we hit the restaurant. This was the first thing that I saw.

I was immediately pleased with our change of course. For lunch I had a delicious quiche and Robin [my boyfriend] had a Croque Madame [ham and cheese sandwich with a 3 minute egg on top].

And then…dessert :)

Angelina's amazing hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate


So, apparently, Angelina’s is famous for their hot chocolate. What you see in that carafe is basically melted dark chocolate mixed with a little bit of cream. It was heavenly. They also brought a little condiment bowl of unsweetened whipped cream to dollop on top of the hot chocolate. I bought a box of their hot chocolate mix. I have yet to use it, but I will let you know how it !!!

So this was the dessert that I ordered. It was amazing. One thing you should know about me, I LOVE berries: especially strawberries. There was a vanilla cake at the bottom with a layer of macerated strawberries then a layer of vanilla custard then strawberries again. It was absolutely refreshing and amazing.

Strawberry shortcake delight.

So this is the cake that Robin “picked”; more like the cake that I told him to order because I wanted to try it :) I think it was called African Chocolate cake. It was amazing. Dark chocolate cake with ganache in between and on top, decorated with gold flakes. Wonderful.

African Chocolate cake

And then we finished all of it :D

Yum yum yum! So then we decided to look at the selection of desserts that they had in their display.

We also got the napoleon looking pastry on the left and took it to Parc Manceau and had a yummy little snack. Again, when I say “we”, I mean, “I”.

Anyway, I really, really, really recommend Angelina’s. It was a wonderful place for a dessert stop.

Sincerely,

me