Thursday, March 31, 2011

Throwdown Coconut Cupcakes

Bobby Flay's Coconut Cake Recipe

When we were in Vegas we went to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. I had the coconut cake that was on Throwdown on the Food Network. It was AMAZING! I decided to adapt Bobby Flay's recipes into a throwdown coconut cupcake.

Toasted Coconut:
2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly on paper. Bake 10 minutes or until light brown. Toss coconut occasionally during baking.

For the custard:
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 large egg yolks
0.115 cup granulated sugar (I just filled my 1/3 cup 1/2 way full)
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons coconut rum (recommended: Malibu)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the milk and vanilla bean seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature.

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup milk
2 egg whites (leftover from custard)
1 egg
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (leftover from custard)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, slightly cold
1/4 cup coconut custard

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk together the milk, egg whites, egg, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add 1/2 of milk mixture and 1/4 cup custard to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pan and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 12-14 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on cooling rack.

Coconut Buttercream:
Remaining coconut custard
1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat custard and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar. Once all powdered sugar is mixed in beat on high speed for two minutes.

Fill and ice cooled cupcakes. Top with toasted coconut.

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