Thursday, 24 May 2012

Coconut Cocoa Cupcakes

Hello again :) I must admit the only reason I'm getting my act together so quickly is because I ran into my friend Lea on the subway today and she complained about yesterday's recipe, can I just point out that it tastes rather amazing, but for those of you who don't want a drink that involves cocoa powder and PB2, how about cocoa and coconut in a cupcake?
Rather than giving you a recipe that involves a cake mix, I thought I could share this cupcake recipe with you.
Sometimes I start thinking of flavours and then I can't get them out of my mind.
A few weeks ago that happened with the combination of chocolate and coconut - back in high school we went on a trip to Budapest and I have this vivid memory of going out to this bar where a few of us shared this coconut chocolate milkshake. 
I think part of why it was so amazing was that what I had grown up knowing as a milkshake was banana milk. 
What really got me, though, was how well coconut and chocolate go together. It's one of those combinations that never seems to fail you. Sometimes it can be slightly overpowering. Which is why I made these cupcakes with cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate. If I'm perfectly honest with you, I do actually prefer this combination because it is lighter and if you can be bothered to make some icing for the cupcakes (how about some seven minute icing or some traditional red velvet cake icing?) the icing actually has a chance to add to the overall flavour.

One quick note of warning - if you can't find coconut extract, I'm not sure whether I would make these - imitation coconut stuff is vile. Perhaps you could add more vanilla extract or actually go down the chocolate-chip route. Or just go straight for red velvet cupcakes.
Also, I used coarse grained wheat flour because I like how it handles, for those of you in Germany, that is Sp√§tzlemehl/Weizendunst. If you can't get hold of it the cupcakes will taste just as nice, I just happened  to have some sitting around, and decided that I wanted the cupcakes to have more of a grainy crumb (does that description make any sense to anyone other than me?)

Coconut Cocoa Cupcakes (makes 12)
100g Coarse Grained Wheat Flour
50g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
30g Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
75g Butter
150g Sugar
2 Eggs
150ml Buttermilk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Natural Coconut Extract

Preheat your oven to 175˚C and line a muffin tin with some pretty paper liners. May I recommend Ernie and Bert ones because they go really well with these cupcakes :)
Combine the flours, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl and set them aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar together until the mix goes all white and slightly fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are properly incorporated. Add the vanilla and coconut extracts.
Reduce the speed of your mixer (or if you're doing this by hand you'll probably be tired by now anyway) to low and start adding the buttermilk and dry mix. I find this is the easiest if you keep alternating a few spoonful of the dry mix with a  swig of the buttermilk.
Fill the paper cups with the batter and bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
If yours doesn't distribute the heat evenly you'll want to rotate the tin after 15 minutes or so.
When your cake tester (a.k.a. a dry spaghetti) comes out clean, take them out of the oven, let them cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so and then move them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

As I said, I think seven minute icing would be my first choice for these but they're lovely just plain as well (especially with a glass of milk).

I hope you have a fabulous rest of your week and an even better Pentecost/Memorial Day weekend!

Oh, and before you go, I was wondering - what is your favourite cupcake flavour?

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