Satay cupcakes – want a piece of me? (Project Food Blog Challenge #1)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yup, you read that right. These here are Satay flavoured cupcakes.

And right about now, you’re thinking, but “Why? Shaz, why?”

You can blame it on Project Food Blog. Consider these cakes the result of a gastronomic brain-storming session if you will.

See, I had to come up with a post that would define “me”, and my blog. What makes Test with Skewer tick? 

Well, figuring out what Test with Skewer was NOT, came very easily: I am not an expert, I am not a trained chef, I am not an aspiring cookbook author, and I am so definitely not elegant, nor do I take killer photos.

Then I remembered the reason I chose Test with Skewer as my blog name. Obviously, I love to bake, but the word “test” really sums up my attitude towards baking – an experimental, gung-ho, “I wonder what would happen if” sort of approach. When a recipe says something has to be done a certain way, I have to know “why”, and then I’ll probably try it with my own method anyway, hang the consequences.

Playing with food makes me happy, and writing posts to share with you gives me lots of joy. I hope they make you happy too. Laugh at me, laugh with me, it doesn’t matter. Just laugh.

And the type of food I make tends to reflect this. I want food that is good for sharing, food that surprises and inspires, and most of all, food that puts smiles on faces.

Which is how I ended up with these Satay Cupcakes. They’re quirky, playful, and inspired by the flavours of my Malaysian heritage ☺  Don’t worry, they’re not as odd as they sound. The cake part is flavoured with galangal, coconut milk and lemongrass. Then I added a smear of tumeric and cinnamon buttercream, and topped it all off with peanut marzipan.

And know what? It really does taste a little like satay. Surprise your friends, make some for them and watch their faces when you tell them what’s in it! Oh yes, I like a good joke too ☺

Satay cupcakes

(adapted from a recipe for Perfect Pound Cake by Rose Beranbaum. I’ve just rewritten the recipe to try and keep it short, I also use the weight measurements wherever possible)

(Infuse the coconut milk with the galangal a few hours ahead if possible)

3 tablespoons coconut milk (45g) – unsweetened, I used canned
3 large eggs (150g without shells)
1 ½ cups (150g) cake flour sifted (I used AP flour)
¾ cup sugar (150g) sugar (I used caster)
¾ teaspoon baking powder (3.7g)
pinch of salt
13 tablespoons (184g) butter (softened)
Thumb sized piece of galangal – peeled and sliced (sub with ginger if galangal is hard to find)

For lemongrass syrup:
1 stalk lemongrass (white part, bashed with back of knife)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water

Start by warming the coconut milk and the galangal together, I did this very quickly in the microwave. Leave the galangal pieces in the coconut milk, cover and leave in the fridge to infuse for a few hours or overnight. Galangal looks a bit like pink ginger and has a beautiful spicy-floral scent. It isn’t very strong, so the longer you leave it to infuse the better. My final cakes had only the faintest trace of galangal aroma.

  Fresh galangal(L) and fresh tumeric(R)

Strain the coconut milk, discard the galangal pieces and proceed with the recipe.

Preheat oven to 175˚C/350˚F.

Combine the coconut milk and eggs in a small bowl, I usually use a large measuring jug to help with pouring.

In a large mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients, then mix on low speed for half a minute (I use electric handheld beaters) to aerate. Add the butter and half the milk mixture. Start beating on low speed, then increase speed to high and beat for about one and a half minutes.

Scrape down the sides and add ½ the remaining milk mixture. Beat until well combined, about half a minute or so. Then add the rest of the milk mixture and beat until combined.

Divide between cupcake cases and bake until golden. Because it is a pound cake, the tops will dome and split.

While the cakes are baking, stir the lemongrass, sugar and water over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer gently then turn off the heat and leave to infuse. Mixture will become syrupy upon cooling. Just before pulling the cakes out of the oven, warm up the lemongrass syrup if needed (to thin it down). Use a skewer to poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes when they come out of the oven, and carefully spoon the syrup over the top of the cakes. Remove from pan and leave to cool on a wire rack. Spoon a little more syrup over cakes if desired.

Decorate with tumeric icing and peanut marzipan. Allow the cupcakes rest a few hours before eating (I left mine overnight), to allow the flavours to blend together.

I made about 15 cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes.

For the tumeric icing, I beat about 150g softened butter until light (a couple of minutes), then added sifted icing sugar (powdered sugar) until the desired consistency was reached. I used about 200g or so. Then I added some tumeric powder. Sometimes I find tumeric can taste a bit “musty” so I added a pinch of cinnamon to sweeten it.  I also added a teeny bit (about 1 tablespoon) of coconut milk to the icing. Adjust the amount of spices to suit your palate. Be careful, tumeric stains!
Actually, this made way more icing than I needed, so half this quantity would probably suffice.

For the peanut marzipan, I halved this recipe for a cooked marzipan, and replaced the ground almonds with ground peanuts, and I weighed out 30g of eggwhite. My peanuts weren’t as fine as could be (I’m not impressed with my food processor at the moment), but the resulting marzipan was so tasty I kept eating the offcuts. It rolled out really well too. Definitely a good recipe and one I’d use again.

 Peanut marzipan

So, you’ve stuck around this far, I’m guessing you’re really patient. Will you be kind enough to vote for me when the time is right? I’ll announce the voting requirements when I find out more.

(Edit: Voting is now open! You can vote for me either by clicking the Project Food Blog widget on the top left of my blog, or by heading to: this link. Your votes are greatly appreciated, thank you! Voting ends on September 23rd)

Till then, thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of the week ☺


chocolatesuze said...

DUDEEEE that is awesome! i so want to try them!

Barbara said...

Fun recipe, Shaz!
And I think "testing" describes a lot of us.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Aww Shaz you are so clever! And I don't find anything odd about them-just delicious! :D

Jennifurla said...

You are cool, and very inventive!

PS - I test my cakes with a skewer NOT a toothpick.

Hungry Dog said...

what fun! I agree, these do suit you personality (well, your personality as I know it, having never met you! :)) Very cool. I love the idea of cupcakes on a skewer. I could pile a lot on that way.

Jeannie said...

Satay cupcakes huh? Do I need to have iron clad stomach to eat this? hehe! Just kidding, I think they look fabulous!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

You recipes are fun and you are so creative, shaz! Who would have linked satay and cupcakes? But they look absolutely delicious!

Beth said...

I love the creativity behind this recipe! Mission accomplished -- you did make me smile!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Inspired and adorable, jut like you daaaahling.
*kisses* HH

shaz said...

chocolatesuze - anytime, just say the word :)

Barbara - that's true dear, food blogger one and all.

Lorraine - glad you don't think they're odd :)

Jennifurla - aw thanks! But, of course, only a skewer will do!

Hungry Dog - thanks dear! I wonder why I never thought to put them on a stick before, they are so fun to eat that way.

Jeannie - he he, actually they tasted good, not as weird as they sound

Ellie - aw, thanks very much!

Beth - glad I made you smile, mission definitely accomplished

Heavenly Housewife - too kind, darling, too kind.

Cakelaw said...

What a fun idea - I love it! Would also love to be a fly on the wall when people bite into a "savoury" cupcake.

grace said...

just laugh. that's a great mantra, no? :)
very adventuresome cupcakes, shaz. i, for one, would give 'em a go.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great idea! Those must taste interesting!



Vanille said...

Shaz, I like your playful side and your experimental approach in the kitchen. Those sweet satay cupcakes intrigue me...

foodwink said...

Arent't you clever?! Satay cupcakes? That must be a world's first! Sounds yum too :)

Clarky Afif said...

oh am gee!!!

couldnt wait to try la kak.
but gotta wait till mom's not around
nanti bising la dia huhu!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I love, love, love how names get chosen for blogs and how they epitomise most of what we are/desire/aspire to. Well done Shaz for the boldness to sign up and for this delicious sounding, tropically-flavoured cupcakes, on sticks...or stilts!

shaz said...

cakelaw - I actually tested it on some (very brave) friends, who liked it a lot. Especially the peanut marzipan.

good on you grace for daring to take them on :) And laughter is the best medicine, right?

Rosa's Yummy Yums - thanks, they were very interesting, we enjoyed them a lot.

Vanille - thanks dear.They were fun to create :)

foodwink- ha ha, can I put that on a resume? World's first satay cupcake maker.

Clarky Afif - haha, tunggu sampai mak keluar rumah, then when she comes home - SURPRISE! :)

Kitchen Butterfly - thank you! Oh yes, they do look a bit like they're on stilts don't they.

pierre said...

hi shaz I want some !!Cheers from Paris Pierre

We Are Not Martha said...

Those cupcakes do look amazing and like so much fun!! I just found you through Foodbuzz and am so glad I did :)


shaz said...

You can have some Pierre :)

Lovely to meet you Sues!

Jeanne said...

What an interesting flavor combination! Great job on the first challenge!

sweet swallows said...

So creative! Placing a vote for you right now. Best of luck!

s i a n s said...

<3 seeing another fellow malaysian on foodbuzz :)
love your entry and you've got my vote

check my entry if you are interested:

shaz said...

Thanks Jeanne, sweet swallows and sians!

Emma @CakeMistress said...

Ingenius! It's great you found a delicious and unique way to put your stamp on a dish. I'd love to try peanut marzipan one day.

Heather @ chiknpastry said...

thanks for visitin, and voting! love the cupcake satay idea - great entry post!!

shaz said...

Thanks everyone!

dessert girl said...

For sheer creativity alone, these are great cupcakes! And there's no satay actually in them, right? I would totally try one! :-)

Sophia said...

I've seen so many recipes lately for lemon desserts! So far, I think yours must be the best! The other one I really like is Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake. What do you think? Thanks again for sharing this delicious lemon recipe!

shaz said...

cheers folks

Jerry Hingle said...

You know, at first glance this recipe sounds strange, but after reading the ingredients there's really nothing strange about it!