Sunday, November 30, 2014

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

This particular recipe turned out to be a lesson in texture.  Whole wheat used in a recipe equates to dense and heavy, in my mind.  However, these were 50 percent whole wheat pastry flour and 50 percent regular flour, so I thought that they would be lighter. The mixture did result in a dense cupcake.  I prefer a lighter cupcake, so a repeat of this recipe would be a change to using cake flour.

As far as the flavor, the special ingredient of dried coconut milk was not very evident in the cupcake. It turned out to be a better addition for the frosting, which did have a coconut taste.  I like the flavor combo of coconut and chocolate, but I still feel that this recipe could be tweaked some to improve the flavor intensity and the texture.

Also, the recipe states to let the cupcakes rest 10 minutes in the pan after baking.  My cupcakes came loose from the paper liners and had to be transferred to clean paper liners.  So there is some adjustments needed in this area as well. The cupcakes should not cool in the pans and the liners should have been filled more.

Below is the recipe in its original form without changes. It was a section in the magazine that was promoting the use of whole grains in recipes.  This particular recipe makes approximately 20 cupcakes.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
adapted from Bon Appetit / Feb 2008

Ingredients/ Cupcakes
5 eggs
2 tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops coconut flavoring or 3/4 tsp coconut extract
1 1/4 cups butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups miniature  semis sweet chocolate chips (11 oz)

Ingredients/ Frosting
1/2 cup coconut milk powder
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 drops coconut flavoring or 1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbs or more of milk
flaked sweetened coconut (optional for topping)

Prepare muffin tins by lining 20 cavities with paper liners.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the powdered coconut milk, flour, pastry flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.  In a second bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until there are no more lumps.  Beat in 1/2 cup of sugar and repeat 2 more times with the remaining sugar.  Then add the coconut flavoring and vanilla extract.

Pour in the dry ingredients and stir until blended.  Add one egg and beat for 30 seconds.  Repeat the process of adding and beating for each of the remaining eggs.  Once smooth,  beat in the milk.  Then fold in the chocolate chips until evenly disbursed through out the batter.  Then fill the prepared muffin cavities 2/3 full of batter.

Bake until tester comes out clean, which is about 22 minutes.  Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.

As the cupcakes cool, create the frosting.  In a medium size bowl, add coconut milk powder, butter and salt.  Beat for about 45 seconds on medium speed, occassionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add vanilla extract and coconut flavor or extract.  Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds so the flavor is incorporated into the batter. 

Sift in 1 cup of powdered sugar to the butter mixture and beat until no dry streaks remain.  Repeat this process until all the powdered sugar has been mixed into the butter batter.  The beat in the milk in increments of 1 tablespoon until it reaches the desired consistency.

Spread frosting or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.  If desired, sprinkle sweetened coconut on top.

Tips and Notes:
1. Even if using 2 pans, bake all at the same time so the batter does not sit and rise in the bowl while your first pan is baking.

2.  Also 20 is an odd number since muffin tins are in multiples of six and 12 cavity capacity.  Before baking, fill the empty muffin cavities with water. By filling with water, you have a more weight stable pan and it keeps your muffin tin cavities from discoloration.

3. If you are not using a scoop for the batter and use a spoon, tap your pan on the counter to get the air out of the batter before baking.
                                        **THREE YEARS AGO: Citrus Sri Lanka Cookies**