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Monday, July 13, 2009

Coconut-Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Man. I have been waiting four months to make these. I saw them in a chocolate spread in the February Family Circle, and have just been waiting for the right time to make them. I even made sure to stock up at Fran's with a piping bag and long filling tip for whenever I got around to this recipe.

I'd never made filled cupcakes so I was excited to try. There are two ways to fill:

1 - Using a long tip and a piping bag. Stick the tip in the bottom of the cupcake, and up about halfway. Squeeze hard and very slowly ease tip out, squeezing all the way. If the top or sides bulge you know you're filling it. For me, they didn't bulge so I just had to hope I was getting some in. For most of them, I did. And there was a cute little hole on the bottom like a Hostess.
2 - Use a melon baller to scoop the top of the cupcake out. Fill in the hole with filling, then replace the top and frost to hide the damage. This way there's no hole in the bottom and you are sure to get a good glob of filling in there. But it's kind of messy and you have to be super careful when frosting so the crumbs and cupcake top don't get all over.
Actually they're both pretty messy but I think I prefer method #1, at least for this cupcake.

Chocolate and coconut are fast becoming one of my favorite combinations. Even though there's no actual coconut in here, just coconut extract, it still totally counts. The smooth cream amid the dense chocolate crumb is decadent in a very sexy kind of way. No wonder it was published in February.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 T unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. Generously coate 18 indents in two cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each . On low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with milk, in two additions. Divide batter among indents, about 1/3 cup each.

3. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes to rack and let cool completely.
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 T milk
1 T coconut extract

Beat butter, shortening, confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Mix in coconut extract. Transfer cream filling to a pastry bag and fit with a small tip. Insert tip deep into cupcake and fill with cream until you can see top bulging. Slowly back out.

Family Circle says to use "1 container prepared dark chocolate frosting" but I'm not really a store-bought frosting kind of girl so I made my own - it's not an exact recipe, just a rough buttercream in which you keep adding milk or sugar until the consistency is right.

4 to 5 T butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 5 T milk or cream

Sift together the cocoa powder and 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar. Add the butter and beat for about 30 seconds to a minute. Add a pinch of salt and milk 1 T at a time, beating with whisk attachement, until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes.

Recipe from Family Circle, February 2009


Maren said...

Nummy! Have you tried the new coconut m&ms? They're awesome.

Shells said...

Coconut M&Ms? Please, somebody send some here immediately. I'll pay a premium.

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