Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Hot Pink Coconut Cupcakes
Is there anything cooler than little sweet treats all wrapped up in animal prints and colored in hot pink? For me, there is not much that can top that on my cool scale but I realize that with the kid, my expertise on what is and is not hip has diminished considerably. I also have a slight obsession with the color pink but I am comfortable enough with my quirks at this point in my life to flaunt them shamelessly.
So let me talk about the cupcakes themselves for a moment. I have been making Ina Garten's coconut cupcakes for years and although everyone fell over themselves for them, I was never completely satisfied. I adjusted the baking time a million times and they still seemed a little bit dry for my taste. Then I came across a coconut cupcake recipe on Epicurious that promised the moistest cupcakes ever. I can safely say, they delivered. The secret is in the reduced coconut milk and although it takes a little more time and planning, it is totally worth it. I added in a few more ingredients to heighten the coconut flavor and I threw some rum in also because quite frankly, I think I am bordering on recipe alcohol abuse. I also use a variation of Ina's frosting recipe since I think nothing can top her concoction of butter and cream cheese. Since I am addicted to cream cheese and really like that flavor to shine, I use much less sugar than what her recipe calls for. So, if you prefer a sweeter frosting, just add more sugar to taste. xoxo - AJ
Recipe adapted from a combination of Epicurious and The Barefoot Constessa Cookbook
Reduced coconut milk:
2 13-to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk* (preferably organic)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
For reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium low; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla, almond extract, rum and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
1/2 pound cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
2-3 drops of Wilton Rose Icing Color #610-401
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth. Add in the food coloring and mix until desired color is achieved. Add more according to your taste for pink!