Tag Archives: Hawaii

Luau Cupcakes two ways, both delicious.


luaucpkbit

I nom dis.

Macadamia nuts, pineapple, coconut, and ginger. Island flavours combine in a moist, tasty cupcake that is delicious with frosting or whipped cream, but don’t let that stop you from eating them buck nekkid.

I’ve been working on my luau cake recipe for a while, and this is an excellent version. I use minced ginger in a jar from The Ginger People—one of my favourite pantry items. If you want to use powdered ginger, reduce the amount by half.

This is a small volume recipe. It makes just enough batter for about 12 cupcakes, or 6 cupcakes and two baby cakes. I have two miniature springform pans that I use to make itty bitty cakes for two (since most of the time it’s just me and Ginger Man at the table and a whole cake is really just too much). Sometimes when I bake, I’ll throw part of the batter into my baby-cake pans and then freeze the layers for later. Long after the original goodies are gone, I can whip out these sweeties and voilá! The perfect size layer cake for two!

Grinding Nuts

I love using ground nuts in cakes, cupcakes, and muffins. It adds texture, flavour, and lots of good-for-you nutrients. Grinding works best in a food processor, but you can use a coffee grinder or blender, even a mortar and pestle. Got none of these? Put the nuts in a ziplock bag and whack them with a rolling pin.

Tip #1: Add a teaspoon or so of granulated suagar to the nuts just before grinding. This will help absorb oils and keep nuts from turning into nut butter.
Tip #2:
Pulse the food processor on low speed until you get the grind you prefer.

Toasting Nuts & Coconut

If you like using nuts or coconut, you’ll be amazed at the difference toasting makes. Toasting heightens flavour and aroma, and in the case of coconut, pleasantly changes the texture. Coconut toasts more quickly than nuts, so keep an eye on it and be sure to stir for more even browning. You can toast nuts whole, chopped, or ground.

With vanilla ice cream and pineapple-ginger whip.

With vanilla ice cream and pineapple-ginger whip.

Luau Cupcakes

Prepare pan for 12 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°

Mix dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup macadamia nuts
    (toasted and ground)
  • 1/2 Cup coconut flakes
    (toasted if you want)
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Add wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1/2 Cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbs coconut milk (or sub regular milk)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Spoon batter into lined cupcake pan. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely, then frost with Orange Ginger Buttercream frosting OR split the cupcakes with a fork, then fill with vanilla ice cream, and top with a dollop of Pineapple-Ginger Whipped Cream.

cupcakesOrange Ginger Buttercream Frosting

Whip 2 Tbs softened butter with 1 tsp minced ginger, 1 Tbs orange juice,  and the zest of 1 orange. Gradually add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, blending well after each addition. This frosting is quite rich and sweet, so I don’t use a lot. Double the recipe if you want more.

Pineapple Ginger Whipped Cream

Whip 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream with 2 Tbs powdered sugar and 1 tsp minced ginger and 1 tbs pineapple juice until the mixture is stiff enough to dollop.

2009 Virtual Cupcake Crawl Participant
see all entries @ Kitchen Rap
GourmetGirl Magazine

Shelf Love: Shoyu Wanna Cook?

I was on my way back from the local Sally Ann with a couple of new old things when I happened upon a little shop called Canterbury Tales Bookstore. I paused and looked into the window. Rows of lovely old books. Had to go in.

Shoyu Wanna Cook? Won Ton of Recipes

Shoyu Wanna Cook? Won Ton of Recipes

I made a beeline for the cookbook section and started scanning the shelves for anything interesting. I made off with a grand old picture cookbook by the publishers of Life, with the most incredible photographs inside . . . but I digress. I also happened upon a stack of spiral bound community cookbooks which yielded a very cool collection from the employees of Outrigger Hotels Hawaii. In additon to the “won ton” of recipes, employees also contributed the cover art and all of the illustrations. Neat! (I know, I’m such a nerd.)

I love Pacific Island food. All those incredible flavours in one forkful, delicious ingredients (macadamias, citrus fruits, pineapple, coconut), a bounty of seafood recipes, what more could be asked? Stir fry is my go-to dish when I’m starting to feel guilty about eating too much cheese and cream. And Pupu? I remember the first time I experienced a pupu platter. I was in a kitschy tiki-style restaurant in the middle of the Bible Belt drinking about 8 kinds of liquor out of a coconut monkey when our waiter came by and placed a flaming volcano plate on a lazy susan.  Our centerpiece was surrounded by meat skewered on sticks, golden crispy purses of cheesy crab, buttery shrimp toasts, teriyaki chicken wings, and of course egg rolls with dipping sauces for everything. Extravagant and indulgent, but so tasty.

Cookbook Illustration

Illustration p.51

Often, when I buy a new cookbook, there is one little thing that seals the deal. Sometimes it’s the layout or pretty pictures or the way the pages feel. Sometimes it’s the name of a recipe or the ingredients listed in the index. Aside from the play-on-words title and the cute illustrations, the deal-maker in this case was a brownie recipe written in dialectical Hawaiian.

Brah, dis tita’s brownies so ono dey brok da mout. Da Ultimat Brownies (‘dis is food, not wicked Hawaiian Wahines) says the recipe title, and it’s suggested that you stir the batter “until it’s smooth as the sound of ukulele’s strummin” which is pretty smooth. According to the recipe, it makes 3 dozen brownies “enough for 36 keikis, 22 aunties, 10 titas, or 1 moke.” That’s a lot of brownies for one moke.

Why This Cookbook Is Delicious:

  • It has a unique personality and a sense of humour.
  • The recipes are for yummy food that real people feed their families and friends.
  • They have recipes for homemade cat food! Show your kitty some love.
  • There’s a glossary! Butteryaki = Japanese for “grilling or broiling in butter.” Yum.