Monday, January 2, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes for the Mominator

Let me start off by saying that these will not help you in your resolution to fit into your itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini by February vacation.  But that it ok.  Give up on that resolution.  Resolve to eat more delicious things.  Things you haven't eaten before.  And then get out and walk an extra mile.  That's my plan!

My family loves Martha Stewart's Coconut layer cake.  It is divine.  And it is beautiful.  A six layer cake covered in seven minute frosting and shredded coconut.  Ahhhhhh.  However when you make it you then have a giant cake to deal with and typically not enough people to eat it all.  So you end up eating most of it yourself, after everyone else has left, and you end up feeling just a little bit sick.  So this year for Mum's birthday I thought I would see if good old Martha had translated her mile high cake into something more manageable for a smaller crowd, cupcakes.  And low and behold she had.

So here it is Martha Stewart's recipe.  Prepare to make coconut cupcakes with seven minute frosting.  And prepare yourself for big big big smiles all around.  Fun cupcake papers help too.

Makes 18

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut (I used unsweetened because that was what I had)
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (shaken!)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

I have found that it is best to make the cupcakes the night before if you can.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (the shredded coconut is a dry ingredient).  Add eggs to the butter and sugar one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the coconut milk (I poured the vanilla into the coconut milk).  Scrape down the bowl and divide the batter between the muffin cups.  Fill each about 2/3 full.

Bake until a tester comes out clean.  About 20 minutes.  Let cool completely in the muffin pans on wire racks.  Martha says they will keep, covered, for up to three days.

Seven Minute Frosting

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup sugar plus 1 tbls
1 tbls light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
3 large egg whites (room temperature)
about 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (for the tops)

You need to make this right before you are going to frost the cupcakes.  It will not keep. 

Combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup and water in a sauce pan.  Clip a candy thermometer to the side.  Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil.  Stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Continue to boil, not stirring, until it reaches 230 degrees.

While doing that whip egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high until soft peaks form.  Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and mix to combine.

When the syrup has reached 230 degrees remove from the heat.  With the mixer running on medium low pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow steady stream.  When all of the syrup has been poured in raise the speed to medium-high and whisk until completely cool and stiff peaks form.  About seven minutes.  Touch the side to the bowl to gauge the temperature.  Use IMMEDIATELY!

Mound the frosting on the cupcakes.  Add a little twirly flair if you feel up to it.


Dust the tops with more shredded coconut.  Remark on how freakish your hand looks from this angle.  And realize you will be vacuuming up lots of little bits of coconut after this project.

Line them up on a plate and serve!  Happy Birthday Mum!

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