This is a double cocoa cupcake with a coconut cream filling. The cupcake is moist and rich while the filling is much like a coconut cream pie. I topped it all off with a light whipped cream icing.
To be honest, I was contemplating leaving the filling out because the cake part was so delicious by itself, almost like a chocolate brownie. However, I do like coconut cream pie, so I went ahead with the filling. If you like those two flavors, I am sure you will enjoy these cupcakes. This recipe makes two dozen cupcakes.
Midnight Tropic Cupcakes
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick or 4 tbs butter
1 tbs cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1 1/2 tsp milk
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups water
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients/Whipped Cream Icing
1 eight oz package of cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
The coconut cream filling will need to chill at least 6 hours before using, so you might want to make it the night before. The first thing you will need to do is check your coconut. The brand I got had strands up to 2 1/2 inches long. Since the coconut is a part of the filling, you do not want the strands that long. Take 1/4 cup of the coconut and place in blender or small food processor and pulse about 10 times. Then empty into a bowl. Continue with this method until all coconut has been processed into smaller strands. Set bowl of coconut aside.
Fill a saucepan with the buttermilk, cream, sugar, butter and salt and place over medium heat. As the mixture comes to a simmer, stir periodically until all the sugar has dissolved. Take out a small bowl and whisk together the cornstarch, milk and both extracts. Once mixed, pour into cream/sugar mixture and stir constantly. The mixture should thicken in about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a shallow heat proof bowl. Push out any cornstarch lumps through the sieve with a spoon. Then stir in the coconut. Let cool for 15 minutes, stir and then cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool for 6 hours or overnight.
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease the top edges of 24 muffin cavities and then line with cupcake papers.
Measure out both types of cocoa into a small bowl. Bring the water to a boil and whisk into the cocoa. Cool the cocoa mixture to room temperature. To speed up the process, I placed the bowl in the fridge on a trivet and checked the temperature every 15 minutes. The cocoa cooled off in about 30 minutes.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Then add extract and beat for 30 seconds. Lastly, beat in the eggs, one at a time until completely blended.
Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter/sugar batter. Then fold in 1/2 of the cooled cocoa mixture. Repeat process, ending with the flour mixture.
Pour batter into prepared muffin cavities, making sure that each cavity is 3/4 full. Bake cupcakes for about 15-20 minutes or until tester indicates done. Let cupcakes cool in cavities for about 3 minutes, then remove and place on rack to finish cooling.
After the cupcakes and the filling have cooled, core the center out of the cupcake using a corer or a pairing knife. Then take a ziplock bag and snip off the corner. Put filling into bag and then pipe filling into the center of the cupcakes.
Once they are filled, you will need to make the icing. Fill a bowl with all the ingredients except the whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Slowly add the whipping cream, beating constantly until stiff peaks form. Frost cupcakes as desired.