Coconut Cupcakes

I have been wanting to bake this coconut cupcakes for the longest time! I have bought the coconut powder and left it in the cupboard...awaiting to use it. The right time came when my sister gave me some organic coconut oil. I thought using coconut oil to bake coconut cupcakes will truly enhance the coconut taste.
This cupcake truly lives up to its name! It was very soft and moist. The coconut oil did bring out the fragrant coconut smell and it was really nice, especially when it was warm! The sweetness was just perfect! Coconut lovers must really try this cupcake, I'm sure you will be sold!
Recipe for Coconut Cupcakes, modified from Bakericious.
(Makes 30 regular cupcakes


Ingredients:
200g butter (soften)
100g caster sugar
4 eggs
6 tbsp milk
200g cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g coconut powder (1 packet)
1 tsp Coconut oil
Some coconut flakes to top the cake

Method :


1. Using a whisk, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add in egg, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
4. Add in milk and mix well. Add in coconut oil and incorporate.
5. Add in sifted flour and coconut powder, mix well.
6. Scope the batter into the cupcake case, topped with some coconut flakes on top.

7. Bake in pre-heated oven at 190C for 15 mins.
After note: I realised that the coconut taste wasn't too prominent after one day. I will add more coconut oil and upped the coconut powder to the original 100g to give it more omph! However, the cupcake did have a very fragrant buttery taste.

Black Gold Pizza

[Backdated to early Sep.] During one of my off days, I decided to make pizza for our dinner. Wanting to make something special, I tried the black gold pizza from "Pockets of Happiness" by Chef Judy, owner of Creative Culinaire. The pizza turns out to be soft and nice. There was a slight hint of charcoal taste on the palate after eating. Nice for a change.
Recipe for Black Gold Pizzas, modified from "Pockets of Happiness" by Judy Koh.
Makes two 9" Pizzas

Ingredients:
190g Plain flour
60g Bread flour
50g Wholemeal flour
8g Charcoal powder
4g Instant yeast
4g Sea salt
4g Fine sugar
180g Water
20g Olive oil

For topping: (you may add anything you like)
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp mayonnaise
20 slices of Cheddar cheese (half should suffice. My children like it cheesy!)
1 punnet Cherry tomatoes, sliced half
1 punnet White button mushrooms (using this will cause the pizza to be watery. Avoid this if you like it dry and cheesy. Mine turned creamy, but we liked it! :p)
Some fresh dills

Method:

  1. Knead all the ingredients for the dough together in a mixer till a smooth and developed dough is formed.
  2. Round the dough, cover and allow it to ferment for about 1 hour before punching the dough down and stretching it to fit into a 9" pizza pan.
  3. Brush the surface with olive oil, spread the mayonnaise on it and arrange the cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms nicely.
  4. Topped them up with the remaining cheese.
  5. Proof for another 15mins before baking in a preheated oven at 200C for about 15mins or until cooked.

New York Part 3 - New York City

Final leg of our trip was New York City (NYC). Half of our NY trip was spent in this beautiful city. Even though it has rows and rows of buildings, each building has its own unique structure. The city has a mixture of new and old buildings too! At every turn of a corner, there seems to have a construction going on. It seems that the city is never free from constructions!

We spent most of the time going for sight-seeing. There were just too many places, but too little time. Commuting from one place to another wasn't difficult at all! New Yorkers are generally quite friendly. Even though I didn't have a physical map with me, I was able to move from one place to another by asking directions. The Metro subway lines can be very confusing, but very comprehensive and convenient. On the last day when my spouse was supposed to take a domestic flight for his business trip, he took the wrong train and missed his flight!

When you're in New York City, don't forget to book a day trip to Woodbury Premium Outlet where they sell premium brands at a discount. Brands like Kate Spade, Coach, Kenneth Cole, Nike, Nine West, Osh Gosh etc are good American brand buys. Actually, one full day for us wasn't enough! I covered barely 50% of the shops!

We stayed in Hampton Inn Madison Square. It was one of the cheaper accommodation I found in NYC. You know how expensive it is to live in cities like this. So you can expect the room to be very small, but comfortable.

These were the places we covered - Empire State Observatory, Cruise to view Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller, Woodbury Premium Outlet, Charging Bull, 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. Of course, more shopping in Macy's and JC Penny.

I would love to go back there again...some day. However, before I do, I'll have to be well prepared mentally and physically to go through at least 20hours of flight time and transit.

Overcast in New York City
9/11 Memorial
Memorial Pool
Original lower level structure of the previous World Trade Center
Hampton Inn Madison Square Hotel
Our hotel room
Hampton Inn in-house cafe - whole day beverages available
Woodbury Premium Outlet
Empire State Building
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - Lower Manhattan
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - Statue of Liberty
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - Central Park
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - Chrysler Building
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - United Nation Headquarters
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - zoomed to street level
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - upclose with Chrysler Building
View from 86th floor Empire State Observatory - Panoramic view
Times Square
Bubba Gump Restaurant
Circle Line cruise
Cruise to view Statue of Liberty
Brooklyn Bridge
Rockefeller Center
Lego Shop
Europa Cafe
Famous Fifth Ave
Chrylser Building at night
NYPD cars around Times Square. Stand by for "Occupy Wall Street" march at Times Square.
Times Square Subway
Subway train
Charging Bull
Wall Street
New York Stock Exchange
Grand Central Terminal
Famous Dave's BBQ
M&M's boutique - 3 storey high
Hershey's shop
Martinique Cafe
Empire State Building
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