Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

I’ve always thought that I wasn’t a massive fan of coconut, until recently. For Martini Man’s 30th birthday I made some special cupcakes (recipe still top secret at this point as they may make an appearance at the next Ironcupcake: Leeds comp!!)which did include this ingredient and I really enjoyed them! So much so I may be a bit of a convert…

I was recently asked by a colleague to make some cupcakes to sell at her children’s school gala. I had made some last year (based on ’99s) that went down a storm so I agreed to help out again this year.

The theme was “International” and there were various food stalls selling different types of food. The one that appealed to me was the Caribbean stall and since I had a load of coconut still hanging around I decided to try out some chocolate coconut cupcakes – based on Bounty bars.

A chocolate sponge base, topped with the most delicious creamy coconut frosting and then sprinkled with coconut. The beauty of the sponge is that it doesn’t actually contain any butter / oil. Based on my one bowl chocolate cupcakes, I have substituted the buttermilk for coconut milk and removed the need for any oil. The fat the cake needs comes from the coconut milk which keeps the cake nice and moist.

I think the thing that makes these cakes is definitely the frosting I based it on the flour frosting recipe I used for my Pistachio and Lime Cupcakes. It was light, not too sweet and packed a real coconut punch.

Apparently the cakes went down a storm and were enjoyed by those who managed to get hold of one, unfortunately my colleague didn’t get a change to try one, so I might just have to make these again!

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
(Makes approx 18)

Ingredients

For the cakes
220g plain flour
70g cocoa powder
340g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb of soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
180ml warm water
180ml full fat coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting
150g caster sugar
35g plain flour
175ml coconut milk
40ml double cream
175g unsalted butter, softened

To Decorate
Sweetened dessicated coconut

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F (Fan 160C)

Line a muffin tin(s) with liners

Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl.

Mix the eggs, coconut milk and water, into a jug and then gradually mix into the dry ingredients until all just combined and smooth.

Divide the batter between the cases, filling each no more than 2/3 full.

Bake in the oven for for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway if you need to. The tops should be springy – test with a cake tester to make sure they are done.

Leave to cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then turn out onto the cooling tray.

For the frosting, in a medium saucepan, whisk sugar and flour until well blended. Add the coconut milk and cream. Whisk until smooth. Place the pan on a moderate heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer, this will take about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir for the approximately 2 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely. The mixture should be thick and very gloopy.

Beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in coconut milk-flour mixture, beating until blended with butter. Continue beating until fluffy and smooth. This will take a good couple of minutes, and it should end up with a similar consistency to whipped cream.

Pipe / spoon the frosting onto the cakes and then cover in dessicated coconut.

These would be rather marvellous for Christmas too (Yes, I said the C-word, in July!!) as they remind me of snowballs!

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