So, I mentioned that I frequented this spectacular little frozen yogurt joint in town. And by “frequent”, I mean visit religiously at 9:00pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I used to feel like a total loser for going so often, but after analyzing why something like that would make me feel like a loser, I figured eating fro-yo three times a week is not only analogous to Starbucking it every morning or haunting a favorite bar every Friday; but it’s way better for your health! Think about it. Frozen yogurt is chock FULL of probiotics, protein and calcium. It’s low-fat and a serving is as expensive as a tall latte. There’s no caffeine and usually less sugar. I feel it’s moot to compare health benefits of frozen yogurt to those of beer. And the people? They’re ALWAYS HAPPY. No one’s in a rush to get to work, or suffering caffeine withdrawals…or itching to start a brawl because you looked at hos or her arm candy wrong. So, why feel bad about wanting to go to a happy place with healthy food? Right. I shouldn’t. That would be silly.
Back to the abnormally nice people who work there. Phong (forgive me if I’ve butchered the name, for I most certainly have) is an adorable, sweety-heart pocket-sized girl who is a little awkward, but always chipper and always happy to see everyone. Everyone. One night, she confided that her birthday was that coming Monday and jokingly asked if I would bake her some cupcakes.
Nobody ever believes me when I say yes.
I suppose, though, that’s a good thing were I ever in a situation involving he risk of date-rape drugs.
Suffice it to say, I baked her the cupcakes. She said her favorite flavor was coconut, “I guess”. So I coconutted the hell out of those tiny cakes: Coconut butter cake, Mounds filling, coconut milk buttercream.
Recipe adapted from here
¾ cup Self-rising flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Cake flour
1 stick Butter, softened
1 cup Coconut milk
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla or coconut extract, or ½ teaspoon of both.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Combine the two flours, the sugar and the butter in an electric mixer and s l o w l y beat until the mixture is yellowish and there are tiny butter nuggets (smaller than lentils). Butter nuggets. Butter. Nuggets.
2. Add the eggs, milk and extract(s)
3. Turn up the speed and mix until smooth. I like to “sprint” the batter. Yes, I made up the term. Just now. And it means that I turn the mixer up to medium and beat until everything is wet (about 5-10 seconds), then I gun it for another 3-5 seconds until the batter is smooth.
4. Oh, yeah. You’re making cupcakes. You should have lined a 12-cup muffin tin by now. If you haven’t, you’re a ninny. But don’t worry. The batter will be okay while you try and regain your dignity in flitting gracefully to the cupboard and throwing liners Frisbee-like into each cup like a boss.
5. Evenly distribute the batter and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.
1 cup Shredded coconut
Sweetened condensed milk
1. Pulse the coconut in a food processor until it’s a size that won’t get caught in your teeth. Think Mounds.
2. Add enough sweetened condensed milk to make the mixture the consistency of German chocolate cake frosting.
3. Using a star-top piping tip, removed the centers of each cooled cupcake (use a bigger tip; or a serrated knife…something that accomplishes the task of removing the centers of the cupcakes. You’re smart. I believe in you.)
4. Stuff those suckers full of the coconutty goodness.
Coconut Milk Buttercream
½ cup Coconut milk
1 ½ sticks Butter, softened
1 ½ cups Confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons Key lime juice (or regular lime juice, or lemon juice)
½ teaspoon Meringue powder(I used Wilton brand, which I bought at Michael’s)
1. Reduce the coconut milk to 2- 2 ½ tablespoons, then place over ice bath to cool completely
2. Cream the butter, meringue powder and sugar
3. Add the milk, extract and juice
4. Take the bowl into a secluded area. Bring a spoon.
5. Okay…you should actually frost the cupcakes. But any leftover icing…