Sunday, April 28, 2013

Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Dream Cupcakes

The first time I baked Coconut Cupcakes for my husband, I used the recipe from this adorable book,
10 Cakes Husband's Like Best (circa 1955)

Absolutely precious, although the cupcakes turned out to be very dry. I believe the missing ingredient is coconut milk (and copious amounts of butter!!!)
This time, I put aside the 1950's housewife dream and turned to the always safe, always moist, always perfect Ms. Stewart for guidance.

Coconut Cupcakes ala Martha
Yield 21 (mine only yielded 14)
350* for 20-22 minutes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

This is Basic Cupcake How-to, according to Martha: Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs/egg whites 1 at a time and beat. Sift dry ingredients, adding sweetened coconut to dry ingredients. Add coconut milk and vanilla to wet ingredients alternating with the dry ingredients until blended smoothly. Bake on 350 for 20 - 22 minutes (insert toothpick to test doneness.) Cool on wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, mound frosting on top. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.

Seven-Minute Frosting
1 1/3 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

I messed the Seven-Minute Frosting up, gentle and kind readers. I got cocky and read the ingredients, then proceeded to beat them all together without cooking anything on the stove. 30 minutes of beating later, the frosting finally stiffened into small peaks. It tasted quite lovely, but was not at all close to the masterpiece of Martha's!!!

This is Martha's Seven-Minute Frosting:

This is my odd little creation!

Still lovely, but missing the gloriously-tall peaks of Martha's that are like a work of art. Never fear!!! I will try this frosting again and persevere until I have nailed it!!!!!

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