Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pistachio Coconut Cupcakes

I wanted to try making this cake in cupcake form, and also try it with a coconut twist. Instead of using the ice water in the cake, I substituted coconut milk. Honestly it didn't make a difference, it tasted the same! So next time I would actually put some coconut extract in the cake. I also made the buttercream with some coconut milk and coconut extract but again, the coconut didn't really shine through. This recipe would be better if you're looking for an amazing coconut buttercream to put on top. Overall, these were still really yummy.

Pistachio Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream
Adapted from: Joanne Eats Well with Others
Yield: 36 cupcakes

1 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp coconut extract

2 large egg yolks
1 cup canned (full fat) coconut milk, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Try not to use dark pans because they brown the cake edges alittle more.

In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, fully pulse the pistachios until most of it has a powder-like consistency. Remove 2 tbsp in a small bowl, and set aside. Transfer the rest of the pistachios to a large bowl and whisk together with the all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a very clean bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Without needing to clean the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the butter in the stand mixer for 3 minutes, fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the egg yolks and mix until just combined.

Turn the mixer to low.  Add the flour/pistachio mix to the batter in three additions, alternating with the coconut milk, mixing each time until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.

Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full (no more than that) and bake for 19-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Coconut Buttercream
1½ cups sugar
⅓ cup flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup canned (full fat) coconut milk

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, soft, cut into small pieces
2 tsp coconut extract

In a medium heavy saucepan, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add in the milk, coconut milk, and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil and then thickens, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.

Transfer the hot milk mixture to a stand mixer bowl and mix with the paddle attachment on high speed until cool, about 9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter, a few pieces at a time, until it is full incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, a few minutes.

Add in the extract and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, chill it and mix again.

Generously frosts 36 cupcakes.
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