Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cinnamon Mayo Cupcakes with Chocolate Black Bean Frosting - CIC

I know, I know. You just read that title several times. And now you're wondering if I have lost my mind. Yes, yes, I have. However, that's very unrelated to the black bean frosting. I didn't even come up with the recipe. You can find anything on the internet, apparently. So here's how black bean frosting happened.

This month's winning Crazy Ingredient Challenge ingredients are black beans and mayonnaise. There's nothing crazy about that. If the winning ingredients aren't crazy then I usually challenge myself to do something unusual with them. There's a bit of a buzz about black bean brownies. I tried them once and they just did not taste good. I contemplated trying again and then making a mayonnaise based frosting. But I just did not want to try that brownie again.

I had finally settled on just making a savoury recipe. But one night I googled "black bean frosting" and this popped up. I took a leap of faith and tried the tiniest possible batcha and you know what? It wasn't bad! There was no black bean flavour whatsoever. You'd never guess that they were in there. My only complaint was the strong honey flavour. I am not a big honey fan though. I'd try another liquid sweetener or even just powdered sugar next time.

But why put black beans in your frosting? Really, there's no reason to. It's just a fun little experiment that doesn't taste bad. I ate most of it straight from the blender with a spoon so trust me, it's good. And hey, I guess you now have protein in your frosting?

The cupcakes are pretty good too. Very moist. Very delicious. Make them - with or without the frosting.

Cinnamon Mayo Cupcakes with Chocolate Black Bean Frosting
(adapted from Always Order Dessert; yield 12 cupcakes)

Cupcake Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the mayonnaise, milk and vanilla. Mix until combined them pour into the lined cupcake wells.
Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Black Bean Frosting Ingredients
120 grams black beans
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons peanut butter
pinch of salt
vanilla to taste
enough warm water to get a smooth frosting.

Blend all the frosting ingredients until extremely smooth. Taste and adjust taste as you feel necessary. Don't use chunky peanut butter, I did and that made making it smooth harder.  

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Avocado Mini Bundts - #BundtBakers

For this month's Bundt Bakers, Andrea challenged us sneak in something healthy into our cakes. I was stumped. The last time that I tried to sneak something into dessert, things did not go so well. I'm looking at you black bean brownies. You tasted like beans! Such a waste of chocolate. I keep seeing people talk about their amazing black bean brownies so I am guessing that I did something really wrong. Other than add black beans to perfectly good brownies, that is.

Avocadoes are in season here and there are always at least 2 or 3 in the kitchen and we go through them quickly. I've used avocado in a drink before and loved it so I figured trying avocado in a cake would go over well enough. I've read before about using avocado to replace some of the fat in a cake. But most of the recipes tend to be chocolate cakes. I love chocolate cake but wondered if the chocolate would just be covering up whatever the avocado added. I decided to go with a simple vanilla cake.

Much to my surprise, it worked. For the most part. The crumb had a tiny hint of green. There was nothing else to signify that there was avocado in mix. But the cakes felt a bit heavy. I figured this was the price one pays for cutting out that much fat from butter. As I was closing my recipe notebook, I realised that I had made a mistake. I used milk instead of buttermilk. That buttermilk made a huge difference to the texture!

Avocado Mini Bundts
(yield: 6 1 cup capacity mini Bundts)

270 grams flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pureed avocado
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Thoroughly grease and flour 6 one cup capacity mini Bundt pans.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat the avocado, butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
Alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour, mixing until just combined. Once it's all incorporated beat for an additional 20 seconds being careful not to overmix.
Divide among the prepared pans and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean..


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Two Tone Pumpkin Bread - #BreadBakers

Let's talk pumpkin.

I know that I mentioned before that pumpkin is an all year round vegetable (yes, yes, I know it's really a fruit) in Jamaica. It's the base of most of our soups and a Saturday without a pot of soup bubbling on the stove is unpatriotic. Pumpkin rice is also a favourite of mine. What I never mentioned then was that our pumpkin is a wee bit different from North American pumpkin. Honestly, I just never thought about it much. Someone brought it up to me when I mentioned that I needed to come up with a pumpkin bread for this month's Bread Bakers. Did I have a plan for addressing the differences? "Oh, yeah...hmm," was my response.

So how is it different? The most obvious difference is the skin. North American pumpkin is orange on the outside while ours is green. A better blogger would have had a picture of a perfect slice of pumpkin or even a whole one to show you. But remember that I said that I just never thought about it.  I do have a tiny piece though so here you go:

I won't even admit to you how many years it took for it to dawn on me that we had green pumpkins and the once I saw in the US were orange. Maybe it's because I always reached for "calabaza" in the supermarket? Let me stop making excuses for my non-observant ways. Moving along.

You can see that the flesh is still that really bright orange like the North American variety. It actually got a bit darker after cooking. The flesh is really sweet. After tasting nothing but the North American version for years, I was actually surprised by how sweet this was. The last time that I tasted canned pumpkin, I actually spat it out. Quite bland to me. I remember wondering why it tasted so bland when I grew up eating steamed pumpkin on a weekly basis and at no point did it ever taste like that. Different varieties, Kelly. Different varieties.

I am actually looking forward to using this pumpkin in sweet applications. I was always on the fence about that before. I do wish that I could get some canned pumpkin to do some comparisons. Ah well. For today, I have a two toned pumpkin bread. It's a pretty simple bread even though it does require making two separate doughs. Both are pretty straightforward and come together pretty quickly.

As always, be sure to check out all the other Bread Bakers below. Thanks to Kylee for hosting!

Two - Toned Pumpkin Bread
adapted from Bake with Paws

White Dough
250 grams flour
35 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 ml milk
50 grams oil
1 egg yolk

Pumpkin Dough
200 grams flour
20 grams sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
125 grams cooked and pureed pumpkin (see notes)
30 grams oil
1 egg yolk
milk as needed (see notes)

Combine all the ingredients for the white dough. Knead until you form a smooth, cohesive dough that is slightly tacky. Set the dough aside to rise until doubled.

Combine all the ingredients except milk for the pumpkin dough. Knead until you form a smooth, cohesive but tacky dough. If the dough is dry, add milk by the teaspoon. If it's too wet, add a little flour. Set the dough aside to rise until doubled.

Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

When both doughs are ready, roll out the white dough on a lightly floured surface. I rolled to approximately 9" x 7".  Brush the dough with water. Roll out the pumpkin dough and place on top of the white dough. Tightly roll up the dough along the shorter side.

Place the log in the greased loaf pan with the seam side down. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled.

Before the dough is doubled, preheat the oven to 350 F.

Bake the loaf for 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers approximately 200 F. Cool before slicing.

Since I cooked my own pumpkin, and also due to the difference in variety, the water content may be vastly different from yours. Don't add any milk to the pumpkin dough until you have combined the other ingredients and determined if you need it. I did not need additional milk.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
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