Something very random happened in my blogging life the other day. I was given an award! The Kreativ Blogger Award!
But I had no idea what this award was. I googled it and it turns out that it's sort of like a chain letter thing - a blogger in Norway created it and now it has spread around the world. I was given it by a blogger named Alana at All Is Amazing - she reads my blog and leaves a lot of comments which is awesome. The rules are that now, after thanking her, I must tell you 7 things about myself and then nominate another 7 bloggers. And then, because it is for creativity, I am going to give you a creative recipe! My most recent cupcake invention, in fact - pina colada cupcakes!
Now for the rules of the award. Seven things about myself. It's probably high time, seeing as I actually say very little about my life on this blog. So, let's see...
1- My birthday is the 5th of November, which is Guy Fawkes day, which means that there are always fireworks for my birthday! Except here in Ireland of course - can't wait to get back to a commonwealth country!
2 - As well as cooking and baking I like to knit, crochet and sew - as a teenager I won a couple of fashion awards and made costumes for Shakespeare in the Park.
3 - I was a high school teacher in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) for three months when I was 21, even though I had no teaching qualification. I taught physics, math and IT because they were desperate and I let them believe that my science degree was so general as to include all of that. I kept one lesson ahead of the class thanks to google.
4 - As soon as I stop travelling and go back to my own side of the world I am going to get a dog. Screw getting a job, getting a dog is far more important. In my first year of uni my dog died and I felt so bad that I had not been there for him. And then my cat died because my mum ran him over in the driveway. After which she tried to tell me he must have committed suicide because he'd been sleeping under the car all his life and had always got out of the way before. I was really not impressed. Pets are like family and I can't wait to have pets again (Wilbert the snake doesn't really count, he's not fluffy and cuddly).
5 - I love bright, sparkly nail polish and always have brightly painted toe-nails. I don't often do my fingernails though because I bit my nails all through my childhood and now they are short and soft and will never grow very long, which I hate.
6 - When I was small (about 6 or 7 or so) I really wanted to be a fairy.
7 - Nowadays I think I want to be a writer or editor. Probably in the science industry but sometimes I think maybe fiction. I love to read but I get so disappointed by some books, and I don't understand why people right such depressing things - why can't there be more nice, happy books? I'm not sure if it will happen for me but when this PhD is finally over then we'll see.
Next I have to choose seven more bloggers. Which is really hard! There are quite a few blogs that I follow and a few I really like, but I'm not so good at this whole making internet blogger friends thing (largely due to number 1 above). So how do I choose? Maybe I'll just choose 7 blogs that I borrow awesome recipes from:
1. Audra at The Baker Chick has been on my blog roll for ages, she makes the most awesome cupcakes, among loads of other stuff, and her photos are so good that they always make me hungry. I often borrow her recipes, like for the best cinnamon swirls ever!
2. Next there is Cole at All The Small Stuff - I found her blog on a blog-hop and as well as cooking she crochets (I fully intend to attempt to make her monster granny stripe blanket one day).
3. Easily Good Eats - I have no idea who this person is, they go by the name 'Three Cookies', but there are some really good recipes there. like these cranberry cookies; it's worth checking out.
4. Crazy for Crust by Dorothy is another blog that is full of amazingly sweet things that are on my list of recipes to try, like frozen almond joy treats (I have to try something like that, it looks so good!). She holds a blog hop just for sweet stuff.
5. 33 Shades of Green by Alissa is another blog that is full of amazing recipes, like an amazing asparagus pasta recipe that I just saw and have to try!
6. Lesa at Edesia's Notebook - this is the newest food blog that I am following and it all looks so delicious! Her recipe for the smoothie challenge was so imaginative and pretty!
7. Finally, last one, is going to be Melissa's Cuisine, because, like me, this girl seems pretty obsessed with her kitchen and makes amazing looking food. I will be trying her breadstick recipe sometime soon because I am not satisfied with mine!
So on to the recipe. This post is already getting very long, I should try to talk less. This recipe is because for ages I have been thinking that a Pina Colada cupcake could be good, and when I tried one at a bake sale and was so disappointed - the silly people didn't seem to realise that a Pina Colada is meant to be all about the pineapple! It was just a coconut cupcake. My version features coconut cream, pineapple puree and rum! Plus more coconut cream and pineapple in the frosting. Now, an awesome cupcake with awesome frosting might be enough for some people, it's quite impressive and if you like you could call it a day at this point. But not me, I like to go over the top. And what better way then to make pineapple flowers for the garnish? I saw these pineapple flowers on a blog and they look amazing! You just bake very thin slices of pineapple until it is completely dry and then press it into something, like a muffin tin or egg carton, to give it a flower shape. Of course, it's easier said than done, but if you can be bothered they look really good.
Pina Colada Cupcake
75 grams butter
75 grams thick coconut milk/cream
1/2 cup caster sugar (maybe less because pineapple is sweet?
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup crushed/pureed pineapple (not strained, plenty of juice)
2-4 tablespoons rum
This recipe is for 12 cupcakes so begin by lining a cupcake tin with paper liners and preheating the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and the coconut cream. Add the sugar and continue beating until creamy. Then add the eggs, just one at a time, and beat well.
Sift in half of the flour and mix. Then add the pineapple and rum (or more coconut cream or pineapple juice if you don't want to use rum).sift in the last of the flour and the baking powder and mix really well.
Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes and then remove them from the tin to let them finish cooling.
Pineapple Coconut Frosting
200 grams shortening or butter
50 grams coconut cream
50 grams pineapple puree
2-3 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
When the cupcakes are completely cool it is time to make the frosting. It's basically a buttercream frosting so begin by beating the butter until it is creamy. Add the coconut cream and rum (again, it's optional) and beat some more. Then begin to sift in the icing sugar about a half cup at a time and beat until you have the right consistency for piping.