Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Week 4: Coconut Lime Cupcakes



I must tell you how much I love this recipe!! I was in the mood for key lime pie and wondered how I could make one of my favorite desserts into a cupcake. I searched a bit, then looked on "Way More Than 52 Cupcakes" the Cupcake Queen's website and was not disappointed by what I found!

When I lived in Savannah, Georgia, I used to eat Key Lime Pie all the time! I would run from one end of River Street to the other in search of just the perfect slice of Key Lime Pie. Which, any one who knows the charming city of Savannah, Georgia, knows that can be quite a challenge with all the darling restaurants along the way!

This recipe, however, is a bit different than a key lime pie. Naturally, you say. It's a cupcake! The dense, moist coconut cupcake has lime curd on top of it and is then sprinkled with more light flaky coconut on top. Then a sweet, tart blackberry right on top. The lime curd adds a fresh bite to the subtle flavor of the coconut cupcake. I have never made cupcakes in this way before. You will see what I mean, by the cooking instructions; you must soak the coconut in coconut milk, then add it to the butter and sugar before mixing in the other ingredients.

Overall, the recipe is a delight. The finished product looks lovely and tastes very refreshing! I hope you will enjoy making this and share your comments with me.

Best!



Coconut Cupcakes

3/4 cup shredded coconut
1-1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 egg
3 egg whites
2-3/4 cups cake flour (Pillsbury Softasilk Cake Flour works well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cups sugar

NOTE: The coconut milk used in this recipe is "unsweetened" coconut milk. You can find it in the Thai/Oriental or Specialty Food section of your grocery store. The coconut milk you find along with the drink mixes has been sweetened and will not work with this recipe.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Prepare the cupcake pans with nonstick spray. If you want the cupcakes to have smooth sides, don't use baking cups.

3. Soak the coconut in 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Set aside.

4. Combine the remaining cup of coconut milk with the egg and egg whites.
(Mixture will look creamy as pictured below)



5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the soaked coconut.

7. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the flour mixture in two parts. Between additions, mix thoroughly and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(Final batter will look pale and lumpy as pictured below)



8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling approximately halfway.

9. Bake 20 to 23 minutes, until the tops are starting to get light brown color on top. Oven cooking times vary so be sure to keep an eye on cupcakes and take out once a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
(I had to bake cupcakes 22 minutes until they got to this color, pictured below)



10. Let the cupcakes rest a couple of minutes in the pans, before turning them out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before icing.

11. Make the Lime Curd and spread it on your cupcakes.

12. Top with more coconut and a blackberry!



Lime Curd

1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 3 limes
Green food coloring
Zest of 1 lime
2 oz. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

1. Put the water in a small mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it to soften.

2. In a heavy saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar to blend thoroughly.

3. Whisk in the lime juice.

4. Place the saucepan on medium heat. Stirring constantly (but not vigorously) with a wooden spoon, cook the mixture until it begins to steam and thicken. When you can draw your finger across the curd on the back of the stirring spoon and the line stays without dripping, take it off the heat.

5. Strain the curd into the mixing bowl with the gelatin, and whisk to incorporate.

6. Add one or two drops of green food coloring until you reach the desired pale green.

7. Add the zest and butter, and whisk until the butter is melted and everything is an even color.

8. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until the lime curd has thickened for a spreadable consistency.



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