So it’s the last week of classes, which means that finals are impending once more. I honestly feel quite ambivalent toward finals season. On the one hand, everything is either due or due to be tested on within a single week, give or take. On the other, that awful general education requirement (I’m looking at you, gym class) or mindnumbingly boring prerequisite course will finally end, there is so much more free time because final exams do not meet nearly as often as classes do, and there seems to be an unusually large supply of free food available everywhere on campus.
In other good news, the sun has finally decided to make an appearance after Monday and Tuesday’s delightfully torrential downpour and bonechilling winds. With the school year coming to an end and the weather now back on its proper trajectory toward summer (rather than a relapse into winter), wistful thinking about life after finals is bringing my thoughts toward a lovely holiday by the sea (or, you know, literally anywhere but here and now).
Speaking of beach vacation fantasies, in the latest development in my neverending love affair with Costco, I recently purchased an enormous box of ostensibly-spring-themed-but-totally-marketed-for-the-Easter-holiday chocolates. By far the tastiest flavors were the chocolate-key lime and the chocolate-coconut. Since we have only just begun our brief reprieve from the weeks and weeks of lemon flavored desserts, I figured that it would probably be a good idea to steer clear of the citrus for a while and recreate the chocolate-coconut truffle for this month’s cupcake.
As a side note, it has not escaped my notice that these cupcakes are also basically almond-less Almond Joy flavored. Such candy bars do, in fact, exist but are rather disappointingly named “Mounds.” (Why not “Pure Joy,” because they’re Almond Joy, sans Almond? Think of the marketing possibilities! But I digress.)
These cupcakes are fairly low maintenance – just start with a basic chocolate cupcake recipe, fill with a delicious concoction of shredded coconut, coconut cream, and condensed milk, and top with a swirl of coconut whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and an extra sprinkling of shredded coconut for good measure. They are also delightfully light and fluffy because of the whipped cream cut by a mix-in of coconut cream. Just be careful if you plan on traveling with them to a potluck or something – light and fluffy frostings tend to be a little more delicate, so these little guys need to be kept chilled to avoid collapsing.
At any rate, if you’re looking for a way to bring in summer early this year, whip up a batch of these delightfully (joyfully, even) chocolate coconut cupcakes. Hope you enjoy!
PS, since I will be out of town for two and a half delightful months this summer, Casually Addicted Desserts will be switching to a twice monthly posting schedule for May, June, and July. Stay tuned for more tasty treats and rambling musings!
Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
150 g (1 1/4 cup) flour
63 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
7 tbs butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 3 tbs skim milk
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 tbs vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting:
3/4 cup heavy cream
3-4 tbs powdered sugar, to taste
2 tbs coconut cream, scooped from the top of the can
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 tbs condensed milk
2 tbs coconut cream
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or by microwaving in 15 second increments and stirring in between. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Dissolve the instant coffee into the milk.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved, then beat in the eggs and egg yolks until fully incorporated. Add the coffee milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract and continue beating the mixture.
- Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to comfortably touch but still warm enough to remain melted, slowly add to the egg mixture while mixing. Continue to beat until well mixed.
- Pour the sifted flour mixture into the liquid ingredients. Gently stir in one direction until the ingredients are just combined.
Tip: Under-mixing is better than over-mixing in this case. A few small (~1/8″ diameter) stray clumps of flour shouldn’t be a problem!
- Fill your cupcake liners a little over halfway with cupcake batter. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cupcake comes out with only a few dry crumbs attached.
- Set aside to cool before frosting!
Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, whip together the heavy cream, coconut cream, and sugar until stiff peaks form. At this point, when you lift out the whisk, you should see sharp peaks that do not curl over at the tip.
- Load into a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (I used the Wilton 2D!) and set into the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble!
- Mix together the shredded coconut, condensed milk, and coconut cream until fully incorporated. Set aside for filling!
- In the microwave, melt together the chocolate chips and heavy cream by heating in 15 second intervals, stirring in between. Load into a small piping bag or a sandwich bag, then set aside for assembly!
- Using a large piping tip and a small spoon, hollow out the cupcakes as shown here.
- Fill with the coconut filling, then top with a swirl of coconut whipped cream frosting, spiraling from the outside edge of the cupcake inward toward the top.
- Drizzle with the chocolate ganache, then top with shredded coconut. Chill or serve immediately. Enjoy!