Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Almond Joy Cupcakes

Another birthday, another round of baking. At least I am a consistent gift giver when it comes to friends and family. Spreading joy and sugar comas wherever I go. Go me! Just call me the cupcake birthday fairy godmother (or whatnot). 
Everyone, I'd like for you all to meet the Almond Joy Cupcake. A gift for a special lady in my life, in honor of her annual renewal. Now before you go off on how much you aren't into coconut desserts, I implore you to give these a try. They are a bit on the sweet side, but damn delicious and definitely worth the steps to make a dozen or two. The coconut comes from the frosting, which is a hybrid of cream cheese and butter cream with shredded coconut tossed in towards the end. This is the kind of frosting that is dangerous to have around, on hand, in the fridge...excuse me for a sec, I must put thoughts of the frosting out of my mind before I relapse again into a spoon crazed fit. 
The cupcake portion itself tastes somewhere along the lines of chocolate angel food cake - very light and fluffy. I might use the chocolate cupcake base recipe to make a few new recipes down the road (like a maybe a KahlĂșa cupcake or Mexican chocolate cake). And since these cupcakes are somewhat filled with frosting, an added bonus of this recipe is having tiny little cake bites after carving out the cupcake centers. A creative baker would find use for these, or if you are like me would eat them all fairly quickly. 
Next time around I think I might dip each frosted cupcake into the chocolate ganache and then sprinkle the toasted coconut and sliced almonds while it is still setting. And it is definitely worth it to use toasted coconut and toasted sliced almonds as a topping (just buy a bag of both at the store and use your stove top to lightly toast). I also wouldn't mind test running a boozy version of these lovely treats and adding them to my boozy cupcakes by the dozen box (a work in progress). For now, I'm happy giving these away as birthday surprises...enjoy! 

Almond Joy Cupcakes 
Borrowed from: Beantown Baker
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toasted shredded coconut
  • Toasted sliced almonds
Preheat oven 350 F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. In another medium bowl with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, beat in the melted chocolate. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Place on a rack and let to cool completely before frosting.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Beat in the salt, coconut flavoring, and vanilla extract.
Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting, or more cream to thin. Gently fold in the shredded coconut.

Chocolate Ganache
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
In saucepan bring whipping cream to boil over high heat. Pour hot whipping cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate melted. Add more cream if the ganache is too thick to spread.

To Assemble 

Remove center of cupcake using the cone method. Set the cake cone aside – feel free to eat it! Pipe frosting into hole and continue on top of cupcake. Drizzle ganache over frosting. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and toasted sliced almonds. 

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