First off let me please apologize for the photos, it was 11pm and I have yet to invest in some lighting, so unfortunately they have a terrible yellow cast to them. On top of that I completely spaced cutting one in half so you could see the inside. With that out-of-the-way…
For my friend Jane’s birthday I told her to design her perfect cupcake and I think she did a fabulous job. She wanted caramel with pecans and coconut. We decided on a chocolate cupcake leaning towards a German chocolate type idea. I was browsing some blogs and came across a post for creating your own bakers coconut. I think it made a huge difference and the taste was fabulous. My husband who does not like coconut was eating it out of the pan while it toasted, so I can assure you its worth the extra work. I made my favorite salted caramel cream cheese frosting from my go to caramel recipe. The filling was wonderful too, toasted pecans, toasted coconut and caramel. The chocolate cake was very good as well, light and moist.Overall these cupcakes were a huge hit. I took some extra time to decorate them, having fun with different ways to arrange them. Don’t let the multiple steps discourage you from making these, they are well worth it and the process was half the fun! I am going to put the coconut recipe in a separate post, so stay tuned.
Yield: approx 36 cupcakes
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 2 1/4 cups dark brown sugar (packed)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flower
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 36 cupcake slots with cupcake papers. Combine chocolate, 1 cup water and espresso powder in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat until blended. Sift four, baking soda, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with sour cream in 3 additions, beginning with dry ingredients and beating well after each addition.
Fill cupcake liners no more than 2/3 full; 1/2 full would work too just know you will make more than 36, do not do as I did and fill them 3/4 full, they will make a large muffin top which is very delicate and breaks when you try to move and frost them. Cool completely. They are super fragile cupcakes, so be very careful when removing them from the pans.
Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns a light amber, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush ( I rarely do this) and swirling occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully add cream (mixture will bubble ). Place pan over medium low heat and stir until caramel bits melt, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut and 1 cup pecans. Cool filling until it thickens, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
Assembly: After the cupcakes have cooled take a pairing knife and cut out a cone-shaped chunk out of the middle of the cupcake. Take a tablespoon of filling and fill the hole, replace the top. (you may have to trim a little off the bottom of the top if the filling is very full). Make the frosting, fill a piping bag with a large tip of your choice and pipe frosting. Decorate with coconut and any left over caramel and filling. Have fun!