Friday, August 28, 2009
COCONUT-ALMOND CUPCAKES WITH COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Coconut-Almond is a great flavor combo, one that never gets old. I found this recipe (for cake) on dianasdesserts.com, and tweaked it to make it my own. These were so very yummy. They're a tad lower in fat since I subbed applesauce for half of the butter. This is a tender but dense-crumb, flavorful cupcake with subtle coconut-almond flavors.
Adapted half recipe from dianasdesserts.com
Rating: 8 out of 10
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar + 1 Tbsp. Stevia)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 cups + 2 Tsp. low-protein flour (White Lily all-purpose or cake flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup plain applesauce
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)
1/4 tsp. almond extract
COCONUT-ALMOND SYRUP: 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. almond liqueur
3 Tbsp. lite coconut milk
TOPPING: 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
FOR CUPCAKES: Heat oven to 350F. Set out muffin tins and line with paper cups or grease and flour cups. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed of electric mixer till creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each.
Sift flour, measure; sift with baking powder and salt twice in medium bowl (Flour will have been sifted three times, in all. (You may think it's a lot of work to sift the flour so many times, but it makes a definite difference in the finished cake or cupcake.) Add flour mixture alternately with coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating on low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in applesauce and flavorings. Bake 17-20 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in center returns with just a few crumbs. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn cupcakes out onto wire rack to finish cooling.
TOAST COCONUT AND ALMONDS: Combine coconut and almonds in pie plate; reduce oven heat to 325F; bake about 12 minutes, or till coconut is golden brown; cool.
MAKE COCONUT SYRUP: Combine syrup ingredient in small microwaveable cup; microwave on high 30 seconds; stir till sugar dissolves. Brush tops of warm cupcakes with syrup. Let cool.
MAKE COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
8 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups 10 X sugar, sifted
1-1/2 tsp. lite coconut milk, or more if needed
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. coconut extract
In medium bowl, cream the cheese and butter till smooth. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat on medium speed till smooth. Add enough coconut milk to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Add extracts and beat on high till smooth and creamy. Spread frosting on tops of cupcakes; sprinkle with toasted coconut and almonds.