Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chocolate Almond Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

Not gonna lie. These were freaking unbelieveable. One of the best desserts I've ever made. Certainly the best chocolate cake-based recipe I've ever made. The cake was light and fluffy. The frosting was phenomenal - not too sweet but sweet enough. Not the easiest to eat if you want to stay neat (cake crumbs and coconut flakes will fall about) but who cares? You won't, once you take a bite.

I had wanted to make Ina's coconut cupcakes but wanted to make something chocolate. I found this recipe that I had long ago printed from Epicurious and decided to use Ina's frosting. Delicious. While I plan on trying her coconut cupcakes, I can't wait to make these again. One aspect of these that I particularly enjoyed is that they incorporate actual almonds, not almond extract, to get the nutty flavor. Not a fan of the extract, love the actual nut.

If you like Almond Joy, you'll like these. Even if you don't, so long as you aren't adverse to coconut, you'll like them. Yum.
Chocolate Almond Cupcakes
Source: Epicurious.com
Yield: 30 cupcakes

3/4 cup blanched almonds (or rounded 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups sweetened shredded coconut (from two 14-ounce bags) [I used less than this, due to not needing as much to coat the frosting.]
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 (13 1/2-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Source: Ina Garten, FoodNetwork.com

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 lbs confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In food processor, process almonds and 1/2 cup sugar until finely ground. Add 2 loosely packed cups shredded coconut and pulse twice to chop slightly. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and whisk in flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Melt chocolate in microwave, being careful not to burn. Stir until smooth and set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and remaining 1 cup sugar at high speed until fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and beat at moderate speed until incorporated. Add 1/2 of flour mixture and mix at low speed until nearly smooth. Add coconut milk and vanilla and mix at low speed until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and mix at low speed until smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups (paper cups), filling to about 2/3 full. Bake until tester inserted in center of 1 cake comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Cool in pans on racks.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Pour remaining shredded coconut into 9-inch-square baking dish. Spread frosting on cakes and invert each into coconut to coat frosting liberally. Garnish with Jordan almonds, if desired.

1 comment:

Cate said...

Mmm sounds like a great combination of flavors! I love how beautiful shredded coconut makes everything look.