Coconut Cupcakes with filling

Source: Alpineberry

Coconut Cupcakes with filling
(16-18 regular sized cupcakes)

Toasted Coconut:
1 cup (3 ounces) shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Coconut Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 ounces (1.5 sticks / 12 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temp
1/2 cup (4 fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp coconut rum (Malibu brand works well)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup (3 ounces) shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Coconut Pastry Cream Filling:
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons coconut rum (Malibu brand works well)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick / 8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup coconut pastry cream (see recipe), cold
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

To toast the coconut:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, about 8 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, about 10 minutes longer. Let coconut cool before using to decorate the frosted cupcakes.

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 16-18 standard muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

About a tablespoon at a time, add the eggs. (If mixture appears curdled, stop adding the eggs, increase speed to high, and beat until mixture is smooth and shiny. Return to medium speed and continue adding the eggs.) Continue beating until mixture is ivory colored. the entire process of adding and beating the eggs should take 3-4 minutes.

Reduce speed to low. In 3 additions, add the flour mixture alternating with 2 additions of the coconut milk. Add the rum and vanilla and beat until smooth. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the shredded coconut.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake at 350F until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

To make the pastry cream filling:

Combine the whole milk, coconut milk and vanilla bean and scraped vanilla seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Remove vanilla bean from warm milk. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a clean bowl and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

To make the frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, coconut pastry cream, vanilla extract on low speed. Add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip). You may or may not need the remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar depending on how stiff or sweet you want your frosting.

To fill and frost:

With a paring knife inserted at an angle, gently cut out a cone shaped hole from the cupcake. Spoon about 2 teaspoons coconut pastry cream into the center of the cupcake. Slice off some of the bottom of the cone and replace the top of the cupcake. Alternatively, using a pastry bag, insert the tip into the top of your cupcake and pipe the pastry cream into the center.

Frost your filled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting. Make sure to cover the cut marks with the frostin. Sprinkle frosting with toasted coconut. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.