Monkey Business

I ain´t seen the sun since I don´t know when /The freaks come out at nine/And it´s twenty to ten/What´s this funk /That you call junk/To me it´s just monkey business

Monkey Business is an unexpected offspring of the mother of all invention: Necessity. It has two of my most favouritest ingredients: peanuts (in the butter form) and coconut (in the canned-milk-but-it’s-almost-like-single-cream-but-better form). The coconut is low key and in the background, kinda like a rhythm section of a band. You don’t necessarily consciously notice it but you still end up moving in time to it. It’s the peanut butter that’s the real star and steals the show, kinda like a lead singer, complete with the swagger and groupies.

These cakes have a real fragile consistency once baked, helped in part by the use of canned coconut milk. They get a little less fragile the next day, but be warned: eaten straight away they’ll crumble, so have use a plate then you eat the crumbs as you catch them. The cornflour give them an almost crunchy top (though once ganache-d the crunch diminishes).

Monkey Business with Coconut Chocolate Ganache
Makes 12 cupcakes
Suggested listening: Skid Row: Monkey Business (Slave to the Grind)

Ingredients
1/2 C non-dairy milk (I used coconut, but whatever you prefer)
1/4 C canned coconut milk (with the consistency of single cream)
2 t apple cider vinegar
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C oil
1/3 C peanut butter
2 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla essence
1 C + 2 T all purpose flour
2 T cornflour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and prep the cupcake tin.
2. Combine in a large bowl the milk, cream and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for at least 5 minutes so that it curdles (curdling = a good thing).
3. In a separate bowl measure out the flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Once the curdle time has elapsed, add to the milk mixture the sugar, oil, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla essence. Whisk to combine, I like to whisk for a good minute or two to help dissolve the sugar. That and it’s kinda therapeutic after a long day…
5. Sift the dry ingredients into the combined wet ingredients. Fold to combine. It is important to not over-mix the batter as over-mixing = unsexy cupcakes. I don’t do unsexy, you don’t need to do it either. Long live the sexy in food.
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin so that each liner is about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on oven).
7. Once cooked, let the cakes cool in the tin for five minutes. Then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Naked Monkey Business

Coconut-Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients
40g dark animal-friendly chocolate, broken in pieces like a single heart on Valentines’ Day
1 ½ T canned coconut milk
1 T maple syrup

Method
1. In a bain marie over medium heat melt all the ingredients, stirring constantly. I personally remove it from the heat just before the chocolate is completely melted and continue to whisk so that it finishes melting off the heat.
2. Spoon a teaspoonful of the mixture (as in the kind of teaspoon you use to make a cuppa tea) over each cooled cake and spread over the top in a loving way. It will set once it cools.

Monkey Business with Chocolate Ganache


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