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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Pina Colada Cupcakes - Reviews and Challenges

I love a nice sweet pineapple, even though they are available all year round in the supermarkets, they still seem rather exotic.  I've never had any difficulty in peeling and cutting a pineapple but was  intrigued when I was sent an OXO Good Grips Pineapple Slicer to review.

I decided that the best way to show you how it works would be to make a video and post it on here.  When I uploaded it to You Tube, I came across a professional 'how to' video created by OXO Good Grips.  I've decided to post both of them, so that you can see me reading the instructions and cutting a pineapple for the first time/  This was going to have to be 'one take' because I only had one pineapple, so I was concentrating on reading the instructions and cutting the pineapple and didn't realise, until my husband started laughing, that some of it could be interpreted as a bit rude!   Anyway here is my version:

And here is how you should really cut your pineapple...

I'm hoping I will get better with practise, now that I understand how the slicer works!

 Here is the slightly mangled pineapple, oh boy was there lot of juice.

At the same time, I was asked to try this 12 cup deep Glidex Muffin Tray from Great British Bakeware by George Wilkinson The tins are ceramic reinforced and triple coated with superior non-stick, dishwasher safe and they even state that they are safe for metal tools.  I liked the weightiness of the tin and the cups are a good size and, very importantly,  they are British made, in Lancashire.

The best way to test the tin was to make some muffins or cupcakes and I thought I'd bake some cupcakes that included pineapple, so what better than a combination of pineapple, rum and coconut. The Glidex Bakeware performed extremely well, I will try it without paper cases next time, perhaps with some savoury muffins to test out the non-stick coating.

Pina Colada Cup Cakes

 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
150g (5oz) plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
125g (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
250g (9oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
50ml crushed pineapple
75ml (4fl oz) Coconut yogurt (I used Rachel's)
1/2 tsp of rum or rum essence

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake cases.
2. In a bowl, combine the flours and set aside
3. In a large bowl beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar gradually, beating after each addition.
4. Add the flour in three stages, alternating with the milk and rum.  Beat until the ingredients are combined and well blended.
5. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling about 2/3 full. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes.
6. Cool in the tin for about 15 minutes. Remove from the tin to a cooling tray and cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

25g (1oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
100g (7oz) cream cheese, softened
50g (2oz) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp rum or rum essence
250g (8oz) icing sugar (sifted)

1. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl that fits over a pan of very gently simmering water, allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Mix in the white chocolate and rum or rum extract.
3. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until the mixture is fluffy.
4. Spread the mixture over the cupcakes with a palette knife.

To decorate
1. Toast about 50g (2oz) of dessicated coconut in a dry pan over a medium heat, stirring frequently and watching carefully so it doesn't burn.  Leave to cool.
2. Sprinkle the coconut over the cream cheese frosting and place small wedges of pineapple on top.

At first I was a little disappointed in these cupcakes, the cake seemed a bit cloying and stuck to the roof of your mouth.  However, if you can be patient,  they keep incredibly well, in an airtight plastic box in the fridge and improved quite dramatically after a couple of days. 

We should Cocoa is 2 years old and celebrating with Cocktail inspired chocolate creations. The challenge is run by Choclette at The Chocolate Log Blog and Chele at Chocolate Teapot. I'm entering the Pina Colada Cupcakes with their little bit of white chocolate in the frosting.

The Calendar Cakes challenge from Dolly Bakes and Laura Love Cakes is  celebrating National Cupcake week and apparently  'Caketails' are the latest cupcake craze, who says I'm crazy?

And just to round things off, the letter for Alpha Bakes, hosted this month by Caroline Makes, alternately with The More Than Occasional Baker this month is 'P' which gives me a hat trick of cakey challenges.

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At 15 September 2012 at 14:42 , Blogger Galina Varese said...

Looks like a good gadget if you often buy pineapples (in my case I probably buy them about once a year). :) Your cupcakes look very scrummy.

At 15 September 2012 at 15:32 , Blogger Choclette said...

Great video Janice. I must say the gadget looks like a lot of faff and I suspect a knife would be a lot easier and create less waste too, but it was fun to see it in action.

I thought I was getting some Wilkinson bakeware to review, but I got the wrong Wilkinson and ended up with a load of plastic toy cutters for tiny tots - err, not exactly what I wanted!

Your cupcakes sound delicious. Thanks for entering them into WSC.

At 15 September 2012 at 15:53 , Blogger Caroline said...

Nifty gadget and great video too - I don't think I could eat a whole pineapple before it started to ferment though! The cupcakes look lovely, a pity they weren't to your taste.

At 15 September 2012 at 17:25 , Blogger A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate said...

Its good to see the reality of a gadget and how they work in a proper kitchen and thats what you've shown would encourage me to buy one...the commentary...priceless! ROFL x

At 15 September 2012 at 17:50 , Anonymous Camilla @Fabfood4all said...

I've never used pineapple in anything but an upside down cake so thank you for pointing out the error of my ways. I shall look at fresh pineapple with fresh eyes now! Plus Oxo gadgets rock!

At 15 September 2012 at 18:58 , Blogger belleau kitchen said...

you can grip my shaft and twist my nob off any day Janice and if it comes with those divine pina colada cupcakes and your gorgeous accent then i'm a happy man!

At 15 September 2012 at 19:40 , Blogger Janice said...

Oh Dom, don't! My face is aching with laughing.

At 15 September 2012 at 21:51 , Anonymous laura@howtocookgoodfood said...

Loved the video, good on you! As for pina colada cupcakes, a winner for me. I adore the pineapple and coconut combination, but would still rather have it as a cocktail. Brings back memories of a holiday in Mexico!

At 15 September 2012 at 23:14 , Blogger FacelessFood said...

Lol, I see what you mean! I think I'll stick to using a good sharp knife for my pineapples. Great cupcakes though. :-)

At 15 September 2012 at 23:29 , Anonymous Emily (@amummytoo) said...

I quite fancy trying that gadget I'm rubbish at preparing pineapple with a knife.

Those cupcakes look ridiculously yum - fun for a party.

At 16 September 2012 at 04:14 , Blogger Rebecca Subbiah said...

cool gadget and awesome job on the clip, your so cool :-) and I want a cupcake

At 16 September 2012 at 08:14 , Blogger Chele said...

Tee hee - it did make me giggle ;0)
Loving the cupcakes, especially the chocolate int he cream cheese frosting which I would never have thought of doing.

At 16 September 2012 at 08:15 , Blogger The KitchenMaid said...

Hilarious, and delicious. I was thinking about pina coladas for WSC myself actually, but that's as far as I got. And oh, I had forgotten all about Rachel's yoghurt. Sigh...

At 16 September 2012 at 13:16 , Blogger Jacqueline said...

I have a pineapple slicer. Not sure if it is a different one though, as I just twist mind and then pull it out. Will have to have a proper look next time. I do think it is a great gadget though.

At 16 September 2012 at 15:04 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

LOL! I am being sent one in the post Janice!! Maybe I should video my attempts too.....LOL! GREAT fun and lovely cakes! Karen

At 16 September 2012 at 21:06 , Anonymous Laura loves cakes said...

These look really is amazing how much better some cakes taste after a couple of days!! I like the look of the pineapple corer too! Thanks for entering Calendar the fact you went for the 'Caketail' option :-)

At 17 September 2012 at 11:24 , Anonymous Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand said...

Absolutely Brilliant Janice. You are such a pro - good idea to do a video review on how it works. Love pineapple and coconut combo.

At 17 September 2012 at 16:15 , Blogger All That I'm Eating said...

What a great way to use your new gadgets! Enjoyed your video!

At 17 September 2012 at 17:22 , Blogger Debs Dust Bunny said...

Well, I am not a gadget girl but I'd certainly like those cakes! They look delicious! : )

At 18 September 2012 at 23:30 , Blogger Traceyr said...

Your video is hilarious Janice :) and I bet the woman in the Oxo demonstration had more than one pineapple to practise on! You keep twisting girl! haha x :)

At 20 September 2012 at 11:04 , Blogger Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I never think to buy fresh pineapple as it's such a faff to cut up, maybe I'd change my mind if I had one of these. They're quite sticky though!!

At 23 September 2012 at 13:01 , Blogger Caroline said...

I like the use of coconut yogurt, and I bet the cream cheese frosting is yummy! Thanks for entering this in Alphabakes!


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