Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chocolate, Caramel and Toasted Coconut Cupcakes


Chocolate, Caramel, and Toasted Coconut Cupcakes; think, Girl Scout Cookies....

Makes 20-24 cupcakes







Ingredients:

1/2 dark chocolate chips (I prefer Ghiradelli)
1 cup strong coffee, hot 
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tbsp caramel sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups sifted confectionery sugar 


Toppings
1½ cups toasted coconut flakes
¼ cup melted chocolate
Caramel sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Place paper liners in muffin pans.

Place chocolate chips in a bowl and pour hot coffee over it ( if using a Keurig to brew coffee and your Keurig has three buttons for brewing, it is the smallest button.) Stir until smooth.

Sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Beat eggs with electric mixer until they become pale yellow and frothy. Beat in oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly incorporate the coffee/chocolate mixture. Add the dry ingredients in batches and mix until just incorporated. Pour batter about 3/4 full into liners. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool slightly in pans before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.

Beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add caramel sauce, vanilla, and then gradually add in the confectionery sugar.

Fill a pastry bag or a large Ziploc baggie with the tip cut off and pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes. Roll the tops of the cupcakes in the toasted coconut flakes. Drizzle the caramel  over the cupcakes with a knife or fork just letting it fall onto the cupcakes. Melt chocolate right before using, place in microwave with about 2 tsp heavy cream or whole milk ( this will keep the chocolate from turning grey) the put the chocolate into a Ziploc Baggie and cut the tip very tiny. Drizzle the chocolate on in a checkerboard type design. 

Remember to keep the leftover cupcakes in the frig because of the cream cheese frosting!





Quick Caramel Sauce (made in the microwave!)

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp. water
2 drops of lemon juice (optional)
1/4 cup warm heavy cream,
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 Tbsp confectionery sugar

Directions

Stir together the sugar, honey,  water, and lemon juice in a microwave-safe glass bowl until well incorporated.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture begins to turn a light golden color. Don't  look away! Even a few seconds too long, it will get too dark and bitter.

Let the hot sugar mixture rest for about 3-5 minutes, careful it is extremely hot, or until the mixture turns a deep amber color.

Add in the heated cream slowly and immediately whisk to combine. The caramel will bubble. Then add in the vanilla and butter and whisk to combine. Whisk in confectionery sugar to help thicken. Let come to room temperature before using.





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