October 12th, 2008
Macapuno-Ube Cupcake – soft, fluffy coconut cupcake iced with ube-flavored whipped cream and decorated with slices of macapuno candy and flaked coconut. Price available upon request.
Because of this cupcake, I learned how to make my own coconut milk. Although one can get freshly grated coconut in the market, I always thought making coconut milk from scratch was too tedious so I always reached for the canned milk found in the supermarket.
When I thought of adding a coconut cupcake in my repertoire, I wanted a recipe that has coconut milk in it as I do not like the texture of shredded coconut in the cake. Well, this cupcake is divinely fluffy and tastes like macapuno (a sweeter variety of coconut). The first time I baked these, the cupcakes were gone long before I thought of an appropriate frosting so I baked another batch. I decided then to press my own coconut milk. I was elated with my small accomplishment and vowed never again to use store-bought commercial coconut milk.
Taking a cue from the delectable flavor of ube macapuno ice cream, I topped this cupcake with ube-flavored whipped cream and decorated it with slices of macapuno candy and sweetened flaked coconut. As what my friend M._ observed, the two flavors really go well together. I certainly agree!
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Pressing your own coconut milk is really worth the effort. It is fresh and natural and has none of the chemical stabilizers found in the commercial milk.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup hot water to 1 head mature coconut, grated . After soaking for several minutes, squeeze the pulp to extract the milk. Discard the pulp and pass the milk through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Use immediately.
This first extraction called kakang gata produces the richest and thickest milk. You can still get a second extraction by adding another cup of water and squeezing the pulp again. The resulting milk, though thinner, is still good for most coconut-based dishes.