Sunday, January 15, 2012

Justin Cakes

Only 14 days…right?
I promise, once all my friends have left to go back to school, I will post more. I have just been trying to spend as much time with my friends as possible before everyone leaves again.

One thing that has been really neat about this break is that I got a lot closer with a few people who were always my friends, but never that close. That alone gives me a sense I did something this break, even though I really haven’t :P hah but it has been a really fun break, and I think I appreciated my friendships more once I got back. I had missed all my friends from home so much in Ireland, and I really realized how much my Oregon friends meant to me, which was a mindset I embraced this break.

Things have been a little rocky at home, and settling in is still in the works. I am looking at jobs now, however I really don’t want to get settled in a job right now. I want to go to culinary school in New York very, very badly. Haha that is mostly where my mind is set right now – getting out of here. Going somewhere else, exploring. But I know I need money to do that, which is what I am trying to focus on right now.

In other news it is wet-nonsticky snow today, and I haven't gone running in quite a while. I have been gone visiting friends at college especially the past week, and I have also haven't had the energy. I was goign to go snowboarding today for exercise, but seeing my friend off interfered so i am going tomorrow instead. Soon enough, after this guy I'm in love with leaves...I'll be alone without friends and can focus on running. Haha bittersweet much? I will be snowboarding a lot hopefully, and I really want to get back into running. It just is a lot harder around here because there are so many more hills! Hopefully soon i will step it up. That is a bit of a New Year's resolution I guess. 

My gluten-free diet is off and on too. I am trying as best I can not to eat gluten, but it is still very hard to do.

BUT I have a cupcake recipe inspired by one of my best friends Justin, and it is gluten free.

So here is the “Justin Cake,” which I would positively place on a menu if I have a cafĂ© :) 

The Justin Cupcake (rum extract-soaked coconut, toasted macadamia nut cake, with chocolate frosting and caramelized macadamia nuts on top)
Makes 18 large cupcakes and 9 mini ones

for cake
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cup toasted processed macadamia nuts (about 1 3/4 cups of macadamia nuts)
  • 1/8 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthum or guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups agave or maple syrup
  • 1/2 +1/6 cups canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded coconut + extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 T rum extract mixed with 3 T water
for candied nuts
  • 1/4 cup of macadamia nut halves
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 1 T earth balance margarine
unfortunately, the chocolate frosting isn't my recipe, and the author hasn't posted it online so i can't show you :/ however it is Alicia Silverstone's chocolate frosting, so if you have her cookbook you're grand, and if not any recipe should do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and throw the macadamia nuts in a baking dish and let them brown in the oven for 10-15 minutes, shaking them around partway so they toast evenly
  2. While the nuts are toasting mix the coconut and rum-water mixture and allow to soak for at least 1 1/2 hours
  3. When the nuts are done transfer them to a plate and put them in the freezer. Once cooled completely, process them in a food processor until they are chopped up relatively fine
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, including the cooled and processed nuts
  5. Whisk together all the wet ingredients, not including the soaking coconut
  6. Slowly incorporate the dry into the wet, and once smoothly combined mix in the soaked coconut
  7. Scoop batter into tins, it will be a relatively sloppy batter
  8. Bake in 350 F oven for about 18 minutes for regular cupcakes, and about 10 minutes for mini ones
  9. While the cupcakes are baking make the chocolate frosting, and candied nuts
  10. To make the nuts melt the earth balance and them mix the nut halves in over medium heat in a pan
  11. Once nuts are coated add in the sugar and cook until caramelized, then quickly transfer to a cool nonstick baking sheet. 
  12. Allow baked cupcakes to cool before frosting, then topping with shredded coconut, and candied nuts

some of my prettiest

for Justin's family :)

sorry it took so long to post again, after this week i will really try to be better. i hope you enjoyed this cupcake recipe inspired by Justin, i am pretty proud of it. 

so long! thanks for reading.

... because I want to end this making sure you all are smiling :D

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