Showing posts with label whipped coconut cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whipped coconut cream. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for our Hero Cat Punkin from author Cleo Coyle


It's True. These cupcakes actually taste like a slice of pumpkin pie. They also make a relatively healthy dessert for the fall holidays. They’re low in fat and packed with nutritious, fiber-rich pumpkin. My version of the recipe is also dairy free, and I'm happy to share the details. But first...

Because we're celebrating our love of cats this week on the blog, I'm dedicating this post to my hero cat Punkin. His rescue story is one my husband and I will never forget...


Brave Little Kitten

One stormy October night, three kittens huddled together in a flimsy cardboard box. Their mother had been gone far too long and they were hungry, cold, and scared.

The oldest of the three brothers, a little pumpkin-colored tabby, took it upon himself to leave their hiding place, where their mother had stashed them. He squeezed through the edge of a fence and onto our porch.

When we heard Punkin's desperate mewing for his missing mother and saw his bedraggled little form shivering on our back yard patio, we hurried outside. But Punkin didn't know us, and he disappeared through the fence, racing back to his brothers. 



I grabbed a flashlight, leaped over the neighbor's fence, and quickly located Punkin and his littermates. One by one, I handed each of the quivering fur-bundles to Marc. One of the kittens (the cream-colored one) chomped down on Marc's thumb so hard he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out, but he never let go. Marc got all three kittens inside our warm home. 

Happily, Punkin and his two brothers (Nougat and Spunky) were saved, and when their mother finally returned, we were able to reunite her with her kittens.


Punkin and his family are now beloved in our house, but we never would have rescued their shivering forms that night if that little ball of orange fur hadn't been brave enough to search for help.

Punkin (as a brave little kitten)
and his mother, Chicklet.

Punkin and his mom today, enjoying some
time together on our small sun porch.

No surprise, Punkin still acts like the "big brother" cat, looking out for his mom and littermates as well as our other New York rescue cats, who are now part of his colony. 

If anyone in the colony makes so much as a meep, let alone a meow, Punkin is first on the scene to investigate. For our readers, he's the feline equivalent of Detective Mike Quinn. Needless to say, Marc and I feel much safer knowing that a cat like Punkin is on Watch at our house. And so...

In honor of Punkin, I give you...




Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle's
Dairy-Free
Pumpkin Pie
Cupcakes

While our hero cat Punkin inspired this post, I have to give a hearty shout-out to Nancy Phillips, who is our hero, too.

I've mentioned Nancy before on the blog. She's a breast cancer survivor, a loving wife, and dedicated mother of two wonderful children. She's also a great supporter of mystery authors, and we love her dearly.

A few months ago, Nancy e-mailed me a Pinterest photo of Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes making the rounds on the Net. (I'm not sure of the original source, but it's been duplicated many times.) Nancy sighed, wishing she could bake and eat them, but the recipe used evaporated milk, and Nancy is allergic to dairy (specifically casein). Most recipes for this style of cupcake use either evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.

Inspired by Nancy's predicament, I experimented with the recipe she sent me, coming up with a diary-free version. I think I nailed it. Marc flipped for these (and so did I). Frankly, it was hard to stop eating them!

This recipe will give you a cupcake with good structure, so it will look pretty when served on a dessert tray. Yet when you bite into it, you'll be tasting pumpkin-and-brown-sugar goodness with a texture that will make you think you're eating a slice of pumpkin pie.

If you're not allergic to dairy, try topping it with my Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream. If you are, then you must try Nancy's favorite dairy-free topping--Whipped Coconut Milk. Either way, Marc and I certainly hope you will eat with pumpkin spice joy!

~ Cleo





To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here



Click here for the recipe.




Makes 11 Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Ingredients: 

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup dark (or light) brown sugar, packed*

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup almond milk (or another nut milk)*

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 


(*Notes: Almond milk will keep this recipe dairy free. It also brings nice flavor to the cupcakes. If you don't wish to create a diary-free recipe, simply substitute cow's milk in an equal amount. On the brown sugar, I prefer dark brown for the complexity of flavor. If you'd like a lighter-colored cupcake, then use light brown sugar.)


Directions:

Step 1 - Make batter: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Into a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, vanilla, almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk until blended. Whisk in the baking powder and baking soda. Finally, whisk in the flour and mix until completely incorporated, but do not over-mix. Batter should be smooth but loose. 

To fill the cupcake pans, you will be pouring the batter, which is why I suggest transferring the batter to a container with a spout. (I like to use a large, glass measuring cup.)



Step 2 - Bake: Line 11 of the cups in your pan(s) with good-quality paper liners and coat the papers very generously with non-stick spray. You must do this to keep the baked cupcakes from sticking to the papers (or you can use silicone molds).


Divide the batter evenly among 11 cups in your pans. Batter should nearly fill each cup. One cup will not be used. Fill that cup halfway with water to prevent scorching in the oven. 



Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes are done when the batter is set. The baked top will feel slightly spongy yet firm (not liquid) when lightly touched. 



Step 3 - Chill: Remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool, and then chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. If you’re in a hurry, let the pan cool down enough to be handled (about 10 to 15 minutes) and pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. 
At that point, they should be chilled enough to serve topped with my Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream (if you're able to eat dairy) or (for a dairy-free option) Whipped Coconut Cream. See both recipe below...


To download this
recipe PDF,
click here.




How to Make 

Dairy-Free Whipped 

Coconut Cream



To read the entire recipe
post, click here.


To download the
recipe in a keeper
PDF document,
click here.












Cleo's Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup very cold heavy (whipping) cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Directions: For best results, chill your bowl and mixer's beaters in your refrigerator or freezer before starting. Place the cold heavy cream into the chilled bowl. Add the sugar and spice and mix on low just enough to blend it into the cream. Now beat on high until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat or the whipped cream will begin to break down. If not serving immediately, you can store the Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream in a covered plastic container for 3 or so days in your refrigerator. If the cream becomes loose or deflates after a day or two, simply re-whip it using a pre-chilled bowl and beaters. This will easily restore it to a beautifully whipped state.

*Sugar note: You can substitute powdered sugar for the granulated white sugar; simply increase the amount to 4 tablespoons.





Click here to downnload
this recipe in PDF form, and...



Happy 

Punkin Season!




~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Friend me on facebook here.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Make Dairy-Free Whipped Cream and Beat Breast Cancer by Cleo Coyle (Vegan Recipe)



I must thank a follower of this blog for inspiring today's post: Nancy Prior Phillips...


Nancy is an enthusiastic reader in general and a booster of mysteries in particular. Over the past year, she's been an incredible inspiration to me (and many others) in her fight against breast cancer. 

Nancy bravely posted on facebook throughout her chemo treatments while showing off a variety of nifty-looking wigs. She's kept her spirits up through radiation and recovery, and we all think she's amazing. (You can friend Nancy on facebook by clicking this link, and I'm sure she won't mind my saying so!)

Nancy also recently developed an allergy to milk products, more specifically casein, and she's quickly learning about clever solutions. When she told me about this one, which is also a vegan solution for dairy-free whipped cream, I tried it and loved it.

Although I don't have a dairy allergy, my late mother, Rose, who fought colon cancer, developed an intolerance to lactose late in life, and I probably will, too. If she were still with me, I'd be tickled to whip this up for her. Since I can't do that, I'll whip it up for you (with thanks to Nancy) and you can bet that we both sincerely hope you will...

Eat with (everlasting) joy!
~ Cleo Coyle



How to Make
Dairy-Free (Vegan)
Whipped Cream 


To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save,
or share, click here.





Cleo Coyle, lover of fluffy,
sweet stuff, is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries

and
The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
Recipe adapted by Cleo Coyle 
Courtesy of Nancy Prior Phillips


This dairy-free whipped cream, made with coconut milk, is absolutely delicious. It's a fun recipe to execute and fairly easy. There are a few tricks to getting it right, and I'll share them with you below. My first tip...

When you make this whipped coconut milk, you'll notice it has a slightly different consistency than dairy cream; it's a little looser. Not to worry. Frankly, it's great served as is, right after you whip it, but you can also get a firmer texture by placing it in the fridge for about an hour after it's whipped--which means it also stores very well. So you can whip it and eat it, OR pop it in the fridge to firm it up even more. And you can store any leftovers in the fridge, too, so you can continue to...eat with (dairy-free) joy! ~ Cleo


Ingredients:

1 Can Coconut Milk - Do not use "lite" coconut milk;
   yes, lite is great for cooking, but it won't work in this recipe.
   You will need regular, 
full-fat coconut milk.

1-2 Tablespoons powdered (confectioners') sugar      
      (or the equivalent in artificial sweetener)

(Optional): 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1 - Chill it, baby: Place the can of coconut milk (not lite, just regular coconut milk) in the fridge for at least 48-hours. Although some recipes say “overnight,” that never works for me and my fridge; the cream does not harden enough for me in less than 2 days, so I simply store a few cans in the back of my refrigerator (the coldest part). That way, there will always be one ready when I want one.



Step 2 - Bottoms up: Take the can out of the refrigerator and gently turn it over. Now open the top (which was previously the bottom) and you will see a translucent liquid at the top of the can. Pour this out—you’ll get about ½ cup. (Save it for my Caramelized Banana recipe, which you'll find at the end of this one.)






Step 3 – Whip it good: Inside the can, you will see the hardened coconut cream. Spoon it out into a cold bowl (pre-chill the bowl about 15 minutes in the fridge or freezer). To the bowl, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (or artificial sweetener). Although I don’t add additional flavor, this is the time to add ½ teaspoon of vanilla, for example, or cocoa or cinnamon, if you like. 

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until it’s frothy. (I also pre-chill the beaters in the freezer, about 10 minutes.)






If you find the cream is a bit loose for your taste, no worries, simply place it in the fridge for an hour or so and it will firm up beautifully. Serve as you would dairy whipped cream and store leftovers in the fridge.



And now a little
Bonus Recipe


Cleo's
Caramelized Bananas
in Coconut Cream


This is what I do with the clear coconut liquid (about 1/2 cup) that separates from the hardened coconut cream. I pour it from the can into a plastic container and keep in the fridge until I'm ready to use it in this recipe.

To Make the Caramelized Bananas: Pour the clear coconut liquid into a skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar. Warm and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add sliced bananas to the pan (3 to 4 medium bananas); the slices should be flat and in one layer. 

As you cook the mixture, the bananas will soak up the sweetened coconut liquid and caramelize. Be sure to turn the slices gently during cooking, so both sides have contact with the pan's hot bottom. Serve at once by placing the warm bananas in a bowl or glass and dolloping the whipped coconut cream on top. The whipped cream will melt down, giving you Caramelized Bananas in Coconut Cream that is out of this world and (for vegans and diary-free eaters...) a dessert that tastes like ice cream!






Eat with (dairy free) joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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