Friday, May 06, 2011

Recipe: Triple Coconut Cupcakes (When Double Coconut Cupcakes just aren't enough for your coconut needs.)

What is it about coconut that you either love it or hate it? Some of the folks I know can't stand this nut, while my family and I are all for it.

I suspect my Jamaican heritage is at play here, as well as in my rabid love of all things mango.

To whit, when I took a pastry class, lo these many years ago, one of the recipes was for coconut cake. Mind you, this isn't just a recipe for white cake with a marshmallow-like frosting that has toasted coconut sprinkled on top. This is coconut cream and coconut extract, coconut buttercream frosting and toasted coconut. Or you could try to mix it up with a coconut cream cheese frosting.

Triple Coconut Cake with Mods for Cupcakes
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated by the Cooking School of the Rockies and again by moi.
Cake recipe with Mile high elevation changes listed in parentheses.

5 lg egg whites @ room temp
3/4 c cream of coconut
1/4 c water
1 lg egg, room temp
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 c cake flour (Add 1/4 c extra flour for mile high elevation for a total of 9.8 oz cake flour)
1 c sugar (Less 1/4 cup sugar for elevation)
1 tbsp (Only 2 tsp in CO) baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened (I've used salted butter and just dropped the amount of salt added by 1/4 tsp, works fine.)

1. Set oven to 325°F (340°F for elevation) with rack set to middle position. Lightly coat 2 9" round cake pans w/ veg oil spray and then line bottoms w/ parchment paper circles.
2. Whisk egg whites, cream of coconut, water, whole egg and extracts together in lg bowl and set aside.
3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, with an electric mixer on low speed until the mix resembles coarse crumbs, about 2-5 min.
4. Add 1 c of egg mixture, increase speed to med-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 sec. Add the remaining egg mix in a steady stream and continue to beat until batter is combined, about 30 sec, scraping down the bowl as needed. Batter will be very thick.
5. Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops. Bake approx 30-35 min, rotating pans half way through baking time.
6. Cool cake in pans 10 min on wire racks. Run a small knife around cake edge to loosen and then invert onto racks. Remove parchment paper, let cool completely before frosting, 1-2 hrs.

Mods for Cupcakes:
1. Set oven to 340°F. Oil muffin tins or use cupcake liners.
2. If you don't have cake flour, you can use 7/8 c AP flour + 2 tbsp cornstarch for every cup called for in the recipe. Total weight again is 9.8 oz. The cupcakes were no longer dished in the center when I did it this way.
3. Stick with 3/4 c of sugar for high elevation as called for in recipe.
4. Baking time will be less than 30 min. Check with toothpick after 15-20 min, being sure to rotate after 15 min.
5. Makes approximately 21 cupcakes when I used an ice cream scoop to ladle out identical amounts in each muffin tin. I highly recommend the ice cream scoop method of batter portioning. That way, they're all the same size and should bake at the same rate. Also, fewer arguments about this one getting a bigger/smaller cupcake than that one.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (If your butter is salted, don't bother with the pinch of salt. You may notice the frosting being salty, or it may just cut down the sweetness a little. Try it, if that's all you have on hand, and see if you like it that way. I do.)
1/4 c cream of coconut
3 c confectioners sugar, sifted
2 c toasted sweetened, shredded coconut

Stir cream, extracts and salt together until salt dissolves. Beat butter and cream of coconut in a lg bowl w/electric mixer at med-high speed until smooth, about 20 sec. Reduce speed to med-low, slowly add confectioners sugar, and beat until smooth, 2-5 min. Beat in the cream mixture. Increase speed to med-high and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4-8 minutes. Assemble cake and press toasted coconut onto sides and sprinkle across top. For cupcakes, you can either slather it on with a palette knife or use an icing bag and a large tip like the Wilton 1M. Pretty!

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c butter, room temperature
1/4 c cream of coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
3-4 c confectioner's sugar, sifted

Mix cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add cream of coconut and extracts until combined. Add confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time until frosting is thick and smooth. Top with toasted coconut.

Now, be careful! These things are addictive.


If you need help, call me and I'll throw myself on a batch for you. Ayup.

Hatchet: keeping the world safe from unwanted cupcake consumption.


Jenna said...

I've been in coconut mode here since Easter when I had to come up with a lactose free dessert recipe. These sound so nummy!

kimik said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know that Elena's Pantry website has lots of cupcake ideas, esp for those who have Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant. And she does other, healthy recipes that are simple to do. Just FYI and your plethora of readers.

Casey said...

Yum! I've never had coconut cake in spite of absolutely loving coconut. I'd make this, but my husband has a gluten allergy and my 5 year old and I would have to eat it all by ourselves. My waistline just won't accommodate that.

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