Monday, March 16, 2009

Iron Cupcake: nuts

I did it. I entered the Iron Cupcake: Earth Challenge. The recipe is one of the first "real" recipes I ever wrote (by "real" I mean where quantities and chemistry matters) I would like to thank my incredibly gracious mother-in-law who endured no fewer than 5 phone calls from me about coconut, pralines, pecans, caramel, coconut, etc. Thanks!

This cupcake was inspired by an absolutely gorgeous bag of Pecans that showed up on my table last Friday. Our neighbor is originally from Florida and these are locally grown "Fancy" half pecans. I tend to swoon over quality produce. It comes from a 50% chance that the piece of fruit you just bought is rotten/gross.

Here she is: My lovely Coconut-Praline Dulce de Leche Cupcake


Coconut-Praline Dulce de Leche, originally uploaded by Chez Foss.

This is a macaroon pound cake base with praline glaze topped with caramel whipped cream and some fresh grated coconut. I used fresh coconut because I really like the texture it brings to baked goods.Plus, I really enjoy opening coconuts. Purchasing coconuts isn't too fun, though. When I went to the store, only 1 store had fresh coconuts, there were 3 to choose from. It really was a which one is less bad, rather than which is the best.

Anyway...I digress. This is not a heart-healthy dessert. There is a lot of coconut, 3 sticks of butter, and a ton of cream.

Here's the recipe already!

Macaroon Pound Cake

3 cups sifted all-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Butter, softened
2-1/4 cups Sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I buy a 14 oz can and use the rest for other endeavors)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup fresh grated coconut (can substitute unsweetened, shredded if you don't want to grate your own.)

Preheat oven to 350. Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, beat until fully incorporated. Add in flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the grated coconut.

Divide Batter evenly among the cups. Do not fill up beyond 2/3 of the liner—about 1/2 cup of batter per cup. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through (my oven bakes quite unevenly).

Remove cupcakes from pan, let cool completely on a rack. Cover with pecan praline glaze Frost with Caramel Whipped Cream. Sprinkle with more grated coconut (optional)

Pecan Praline Glaze (Bon Appetite Cookbook)
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream*
1-1/3 cups pecan halves, toasted
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

stir Sugar, cream, and butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat until smooth. Boil 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in Pecan halves. Spoon warm praline mixture over cupcakes, arranging pecans on the top.

*variation for more coconutty goodness, you can use some of the unsweetened coconut milk as a substitute for the cream.

Caramel Whipped Cream (modified from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook).

1/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Coconut Milk, divided
1 cup heavy cream, divided

Prepare an ice bath, set aside. Pour sugar into a medium saucepan; cover and cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until sugar is completely melted. Remove lid, and cook, swirling pan to cover evenly until sugar turns golden amber. Carefully poor 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream (it will spatter), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until combined. Place pan in the ice bath, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whip the remaining 3/4 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of coconut milk until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold in the caramel until combined. Use immediately. (Note--I wanted to use up the rest of the coconut milk from the 14 oz can so I used it here. It makes the whipped cream much softer than cream alone. You can use all cream if you don’t want to use coconut milk.)

I'm writing another entry on preparing the coconut. It's a method from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and it really, really works. Plus, you get to use a hammer.

A big thank you to all the ETSY artists donating to this month's prizes that I'm competing for:
There is also a group of corporate sponsors! Yay!
Don't forget to vote starting 3/29 at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner.

6 comments:

  1. These cupcakes look To. Die. For.

    Dulce de leche, coconut, praline...butter. Oh. I think I need a minute by myself.

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  2. Hey thanks. I can't begin to describe how much I adore coconut.

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  3. OMG, these sound AMAZING!!! Can't wait 2 try them. You should win this contest hands down!! Good luck

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  4. Thanks YachtC. I had fun making them

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  5. Yep - I believe you must win. This is too tempting. Good Job. Bring some with you when you're visiting your beautiful mom Pat and your grandparents in Henderson!
    Love and Good Luck!
    Dody

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  6. Your cupcakes were the best-looking, and I am seriously going to make them. You are the MOST AWESOME daughter on the planet. I should know. YOU.ARE.MY.DAUGHTER.

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