Samoa Cupcakes

Source: The Cooking of Joy

Samoa Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 box yellow butter cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, softened
24 caramels

For the chocolate ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the toasted coconut topping:
4 cups shredded, sweet coconut
2 eggs
10 ounces evaporated milk
11/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Prepare the cupcake batter according to the box mix directions. Fill each cupcake liner a little more than halfway with the batter and top with a caramel. Bake according to the directions on the box. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make chocolate ganache, stir cream and chocolate chips on a double boiler (or use a metal bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water) until melted. Add vanilla and stir to mix. Let cool to room temperature.

To make the toasted coconut topping, start by spreading the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes. Crack the eggs into a small saucepan and beat lightly to break up. Add milk, sugar, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes. Press mixture through a metal sieve and into a bowl to remove any lumps. Add 3 cups of the coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly, stir to combine. Let the mixture cool.

To assemble, smooth on a light coating of chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden the ganache.

Once hardened, spoon on the coconut topping and spread evenly. Top with some more plain toasted coconut.

Drizzle the top with lines of ganache. You may have to warm the ganache over a water bath to get it to drizzling consistency.

Unfortunately, the caramel sunk to the bottom of the cupcakes and hardened instead of sitting in the middle and softening. I had to warn everyone to bite carefully into the cupcake, especially if they had any fillings or crowns.