Friday, April 6, 2012

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

I have been noticing that coconut cupcakes seem to be awfully popular around Easter. I don't know why, but I guess it's probably because coconut shavings make very cute Easter egg nests. So I am going to give this idea a try.

I call this Triple Coconut Cupcakes, because they are not only coconut cupcakes with coconut buttercream, they also hold a little surprise inside. I put some Raffaellos inside each of them, those really addictive coconut confections.

You can decorate them for Easter with some jelly eggs with matching cupcake liners, or just with coconut shaving all year round. They are very rich and a real treat for coconut lovers, like my husband.

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

- makes about 18 cupcakes -

Coconut Cupcakes:
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

190 g cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
75 g shredded coconut
170 g butter, room temperature
200 g sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
125 ml coconut milk
4 egg whites

18 Ferrero Raffaellos (coconut confection)

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 12 cup + a 6 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the shredded coconut and whisk together.

In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat together the butter and 150 g of the sugar until creamy. Beat in the vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk. Beat until just combined.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 50 g of sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Press one Raffaello in the middle of each cup. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream

100 g sugar
65 ml water
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
180 g butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp. coconut milk
1 tsp. coconut extract

fresh roasted coconut shavings for garnish

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and water to boil. Continue boiling until the syrup reaches 114°C (238°F) on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).

In the mean time, using a standmixer beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks  form. When the syrup has reached its temperature add to the egg whites in a stream while beating on high speed. Keep beating until the meringue has cooled down. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the coconut milk and extract and beat until your buttercream is smooth.

If it curdles keep beating, as it should get smooth again. If not, your meringue was still to hot when you added the butter or the butter was either to cold or warm.

Fill the buttercream in a pastry bag with a big star tip, and decorate your cupcakes with a swirl. Garnish with fresh roasted coconut shavings just before serving.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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