Monday, October 15, 2007

Coconut Cupcakes for Sexy Sadiqeh

The lovely Sadiqeh turned 22 this last Sunday and she graced our household with her presence on Saturday night for a birthday dinner. I wanted to bake a cake or cupcakes and I was quite nervous. Apparently in the last year, living with foodies, she has become quite the little baker, and I wanted to impress her. When I think of Sadiqeh, I didn't think of a rich, heavy chocolate cake but something more light and maybe even fruity. I found this lovely recipe which I liked because of the mixing of the coconut (as opposed to coconut extract) into the batter, the generous use of lemon zest and the dropping of fresh strawberries into the cupcakes right before baking. This was my first time making cupcakes with egg whites only and so little flour. The result was a very dense, moist little bundle of coconutty goodness. They were so moist I had a hard time neatly removing them from the muffin cup. As dense as they were, the freshness of the lemon and the strawberries really shined through and made the cupcakes almost light. I didn't feel like going all out and making a buttercream so I just did the old confectioner's sugar/milk duo (which I just recently learned about from Never Bashful with Butter's coconut cupcake recipe) with a bit of food coloring to make them pretty pink, and topped them with a bit of the leftover coconut. I served 8 of them up on this vintage tray I got at my next door neighbor's yard sale earlier that day to form a makeshift cake.

Coconut Cupcakes
from Never Bashful with Butter

9 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup almond meal (I just made this by putting almonds in the food processor)
3/4 cup desiccated coconut, plus 1/2 cup for topping
1 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar, plus 1 cup for frosting, sifted
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon rind
6 egg whites
6 strawberries, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 12-hole muffin pan. Place butter in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until it is melted and very light golden in color.

Mix almond meal, coconut, icing sugar, flour and baking powder and lemon rind in a bowl. Add egg whites and melted butter to bowl and mix. Divide up the mixture into the muffin pan and drop the strawberry pieces into the tops of the cakes.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch.

Mix milk and confectioner's sugar and dip the tops of the cupcakes into this mixture. Top with extra coconut (totally optional).

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