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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CHOCOLATE MACAROON CUPCAKES


I've been hankering for a chocolate cupcake or cake recipe with a coconut filling.  One that reminds me of the boxed cake my Mom used to make back in the 60's or 70's when Bundt pans sort of "came into fashion".  I read that a 2nd place winner in a 60's era Pillsbury Bake-off was a Bundt cake ...and thus the fashion began.  I remember my Mom making the chocolate one with a tunnel of coconut cake in the middle and a lovely vanilla glaze over the top.  I thought it was the height of "wowness" back in the day.  It tasted really wonderful!

I've browsed the online recipe catalogs without much success, and then when I was making the Marble Cheesecake a few weeks back, on the same page of "clipped recipes" from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, I saw I had saved a recipe titled "Judith's Chocolate Macaroon Cupcakes".  I'd never made them but decided today would be the day.  I must have had this recipe since the 1980s or so...maybe even longer...although the newspaper wasn't quite as yellowed as the one from 1974 :-)

I just had the first "taster" cupcake, sans glaze...oh my goodness...that's a dang good cupcake!


I was worried because the recipe appears to be "low fat" - egg whites and applesauce - no butter - very little of the fat-laden yummies I usually include in my baked goods.  I did make two small changes...and they obviously turned out well.  I used whole eggs in the chocolate part of the cupcake and I used my own homemade Ricotta cheese...and it was not fat-free as called for in the recipe.  It was, however, made just with 2% milk instead of the usual cream and whole milk - so we'll call it low fat.

This does not taste like a cupcake where I skimped on the good stuff.  It is quite delicious.

Here's the way I did it:

CHOCOLATE MACAROON CUPCAKES

Filling:

1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg white
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut (I wish I had chopped this a bit - I think it would have made the center a bit more cohesive)
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce (I used one of Mott's single serve 3.9 ounce containers)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

18 cupcake liners
Non-stick vegetable spray

Glaze:

1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Half and Half (Just enough liquid to make a thick glaze)

Preliminaries:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line muffin tins with 18 paper cupcake liners and lightly spray with non-stick vegetable spray.

Method:

Filling:  Combine ricotta cheese, egg white and sugar in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add coconut and coconut extract.  Stir to combine and set aside.


Cupcake Batter:  Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and soda in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.  On low, mix the dry goods gently.
In a small bowl or 2 cup mixing cup with spout (that's what I used), combine buttermilk, applesauce, 2 eggs, and vanilla extract.  Whisk to thoroughly combine.
Turn mixer on low and add wet goods in a thin stream into the flour mixture, beating on low until smooth.


Putting it Together:
Spoon batter into prepared liners - about 1/3 of the liner will be filled.  Top each with 1 tablespoon of filling.   Try not to touch the sides - keep the filling in the center of the cupcake batter.  I used a small cookie dough scoop that has a 1 tbsp volume. 

Spoon remaining batter mixture over filling. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (25 was perfect for me) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes and then remove to a rack for complete cooling.
Once cooled - mix the glaze and put in a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag, snipping the end, drizzle the cupcakes.

That part wasn't in her recipe.  I wanted the drizzle the way the memory was stored in my brain.

This is a great cupcake, even without the glaze, especially for those who don't want an overly sweet chocolate cake and enjoy a surprise inside.  With the glaze - it was almost exactly the way I remembered the Bundt cake!  YAY!

My next trial will be doubling this and making a Bundt cake ... I'll let you know how that works!  It's a really thin batter, so I'm thinking about maybe using another chocolate cake batter and using this filling.  It was just perfect for cupcakes though ...but, as I said above, I would have liked smaller pieces of coconut in the filling.  So, we'll see....

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!



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1 comment:

  1. These look so tasty-you did not skimp on that coconutty filling at all-yum. This classic combo always has a place in my house. Definitely a keeper of a recipe. Well done!

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