Tuesday, May 10, 2011

German Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these delicious German Chocolate Cupcakes as my dessert contribution to our annual Mother’s Day family pot luck picnic.  When I asked my mother what type of dessert she wanted, she responded by saying “something with chocolate of course”.  I figured cupcakes travel better than a cake because you can put them back in the muffin tins and they won’t get damaged.  I added the coconut pecan topping to them when I arrived at the picnic.  
I started with my “go to” cake recipe, which is the old WW2 Crazy Cake recipe that Bonappetite published some years ago.  It uses baking soda and vinegar as a leavening agent instead of eggs.  This recipe always produces a wonderfully light and moist cake with very few ingredients and no dairy or eggs.  

I did use the convection setting on my oven and I think it really makes a difference.  I got a nice dome on them.

The coconut pecan German Chocolate Cake frosting is a recipe I adapted from Isa Moskowitz’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  It uses coconut milk instead of condensed milk.  It’s really delicious but took considerably longer to cook than her recipe indicated.  I’m not sure if it was because I used corn starch instead of arrowroot, but the recipe says you can use either one.  It just took a long time to thicken up, but it’s well worth the wait.   I also used wide chipped coconut rather than the regular shredded variety because I like the way it looks.

I made two dozen and there were very few left at the end of the day.   Mom loved them.
German Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes - Use organic ingredients whenever possible

For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup unrefined sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup expeller pressed oil (sunflower or safflower)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract (or use another 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake paper liners.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Mix the liquid ingredients together in another bowl or measuring cup.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix, gently, until just combined.
Divide evenly into 12 cupcake papers.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow to cool completely before adding the topping.
For the Coconut Pecan Topping:
1/4 cup rice milk
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups wide chip unsweetened coconut
1/2 chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
While the cupcakes are cooking:
Whisk the rice milk and starch together in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the coconut milk and sugar together in a stainless steel saucepan.
Over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, cook the milk and sugar until it starts to boil.
Turn the heat down to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk the rice milk mixture one more time. 
Slowly pour the rice milk mixture into the coconut milk mixture stirring constantly.
Continue to stir this until it darkens and gets very thick and smooth, about 7 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, coconut and pecans.
Cool to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes.

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