Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cupcakes

You know the feeling you have when you’ve been (emotionally) invested in a TV show for ages with the couple that has amazing chemistry? You wait for them to get together with baited breath, stalk an occasional fan website, maybe send a little bit of hate mail to the producers and tweet about the day that it will finally happen? Then, after waiting for what seems like years in TV land, the producers and writers finally drop a hint, create the perfect buildup and ultimately *the* moment where the couple gets together and you think… THIS? This is what I had been waiting for?

I feel the same about chocolate cupcakes. On paper, the pairing seems perfect – a truly loved, tried and tested cupcake recipe that has survived birthdays, Mondays, job offers, rejection letters and maybe even a heartbreak or two is paired with a frosting recipe that could never go out of style. In reality, the magic is lost. It seems ordinary. There are no fireworks. Individually, however, both are equally reliable. I can always count on cake recipe to get me out of a baker’s funk (it’s a real condition) and the frosting is so good on it’s own that.. well.. we know how this ends. Similar to the couple on that TV show we all pretend not to watch. The tension between the two is nothing compared to the real thing. So I’ll do what any TV show producer would do. I pair them with other people who are seemingly good enough. There’s nothing like the original, of course but this pairing shows enormous potential.

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On the face of it, dipping the edges seemed like work for surgeons but it’s not that hard – spread desiccated (or fresh, toasted) coconut shavings on a plate and just dip the edges, going around the circumference of the entire cupcake. Shake off the excess and drizzle with caramel!

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Yields: Approximately 15 cupcakes

Source: Cupcake recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats, Frosting is The Vanilla Bean Original

For the cupcakes:

1 1/8 cups (135g) flour

1 1/8 cups (225g) sugar

1/2 cup + 1 tbs (59g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/8th tsp baking soda

3/4th tsp baking powder

3 tbs vegetable oil

1/2 cup + 1 tbs buttermilk (milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice added to make it curdle)

1/2 cup + 1 tbs brewed black coffee

1 egg + yolk, whisked slightly

1 tbs vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 deg C. Line a cupcake tin with greaseproof liners and place on top of a cookie tray lined with a silicon mat.

2. In a medium sized bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, leaveners and sugar and whisk to combine.

3. Add coffee, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Fold in with a spatula gently till everything is combined. Pour into cupcake liners until 3/4th full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Let it cool completely before frosting.

For frosting:

200g premium dark chocolate, finely chopped

200ml fresh cream

1 tbs butter

1. In a medium thick bottomed saucepan, add chocolate and cream and melt over low flame till all of the chocolate has completely melted. Whisk in butter and let it cool. It thickens as it cools.

For assembly:

Fresh or desiccated coconut

4 – 8 tbs Caramel sauce, warmed slightly

1. In a small plate, add coconut and spread evenly.

2. In a small piping bag, add caramel sauce and snip the end to create a thin flow.

3. For each cupcake, spread cooled ganache all the way till the edges, dip the edges of the cupcake into the coconut and finally, drizzle with caramel. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and serve!

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