It’s Friday! Hooray! And I am NOT showing you ice cream!
I know, it is a miracle that I actually baked a dessert. Like in the oven, HOT temps people. Not the below freezing ones I have been hiking in lately. Trust me, it was hard to actually get my brain to think outside the ice cream box, but when it started snowing again on Wednesday it got a little easier. Especially since I have been freezing my butt off since the sun set on late Tuesday night……and the sun has been gone ever since, taking all the warmth with it……
So I am not going to complain, cause I live here and that’s that.
What I will complain about? My broken oven! Ugh. It is awful, I mean all I want to do is bake, bake and bake some more since I am freezing and want warm goodies to literally warm me up, but my oven decided to slowly die on me yesterday. Ok, well technically I do not think it is slowly dying. No, actually I am pretty positive I know exactly what the problem is because this has happened twice now. The heating element got worn out and just simply needs to be replaced. Again. For the second time.
If you are asking yourself how I baked these cupcakes, well then I’d have to tell you I baked them before it started “dying”, but I could have baked them yesterday if I wanted to because lucky little me has double ovens to save the day!
When one goes down, the other one is there to pick me up and get me through these freezing cold, snowy May days.
Oh and trust me, I would have one big fat meltdown if I did not have an oven to use. It would not be a pretty site and most likely I would only allow my mom to see this meltdown because one, she can handle my meltdowns (anyone else would run for the hills and then run a little farther just to be safe) and two, I am super shy and would NEVER let anyone other than my mom see me like that. Never.
Which makes me wonder why on earth I am telling you about them. Blogging makes me do, err say weird (uncomfortable?) things.
I was never really a big candy eater growing up. I was one of the weird kids that actually liked eating healthy and had a whole bag of baby carrots after school instead mac and cheese or pizza or candy. Yeah, a whole bag. I have a stomach of steel.
To be honest, snickers were never my thing. They were hard to eat, so normally I tossed them a side on Halloween and went straight for the giant chocolate Malley’s bar. I would still do that today, however I have grown to like Snickers. I think this is mostly because they are in one of my all time favorite desserts that my mom makes every Christmas Eve. Death By Chocolate.
Not sure why her recipe has chopped Snicks, but it does and it works. Enough said.
Yes, homemade Snickers! They are awesome and basically these are a cupcake Snickers. Yes, cupcake Snickers, and yes they are even better (of course I would say this).
Ok, but here is the thing. These are not just a normal Snickers flavor. Nope, instead of regular old caramel sauce I made coconut caramel sauce. Ah huh. It is safe to say these cupcakes are epic.
Chocolate cupcakes with the centers removed and filled with a little milk chocolate ganache just at the very bottom of the cupcake and then filled to the brim with marshmallow coconut nougat filling. Then, I topped them with more milk chocolate ganache and frosted them with a coconut caramel buttercream frosting, sprinkled on toasted coconut, chopped peanuts and another good drizzle of both the milk chocolate ganache and the coconut caramel sauce.
Yeah, I told you.
- Start by making the Coconut Caramel Sauce. Whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it begins to boil watch closely and whisk until the mixture starts to smell like caramel and turn a golden color, and then to a light brown. This will take about 5-6 minutes. When you see that it has started to turn brown, slowly pour in the coconut milk mixture, whisking constantly and quickly. The sugar will harden around the whisk, don’t worry, it will melt. Just keep whisking! Continue to heat over medium-high until mixture has thickened and is a light caramel color, about 5 minutes more (don't let it get too thick, it will thicken as it sits). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and suger. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl add the coconut milk, egg, canola oil and vanilla extract. Stir lightly and then add to the flour mixture. Beat until the ingredients are well combined and then add the warm coffee. Beat well, until the mixture is very smooth. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely before filling and frosting.
- While the cupcakes bake make the frosting. Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until completely smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly. Gradually increase mixer speed and beat until combined. Add the 1/3 cup of coconut caramel sauce and beat until the caramel sauce is fully incorporated into the butter/powdered sugar. Then beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. Fold in shredded coconut and toasted coconut and mix until just combined.
- While the cupcakes cool make the Nougat filling and the chocolate ganche. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar and coconut milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in toasted coconut, sweetened coconut and peanuts.
- To make the ganache place the 4 ounces of milk chocolate and the 1/4 cup coconut milk in a heat proof bowl and melt in the microwave on 30 second intervals or gently melt in a sauce pan on the stove.
- To assemble the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the chocolate ganache and fill the rest in with the the nougat filling. Top that with a layer of the ganache. Transfer the Coconut Caramel Frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake (you can also just spread the frosting on with a knife). Drizzle with the remaining chocolate ganache and sprinkle with toasted coconut, chopped peanuts and drizzle with additional coconut caramel sauce over the top, if desired.
Such a Friday recipe.