Thursday, August 21, 2008

When a good idea goes horribly wrong........


Have you ever had a great idea that has just gone horribly wrong. I had that last night, with these cupcakes. I'll take it from the top. I love coconut cake and with the summer coming to an end soon I knew I had to make one and quick. But its so much work to bake the 3 layer and then split them and then find some way to unload 3/4 of a cake. So while watching my many DVR'd cooking shows, I watched Ina make these and was in love. But thought I could step this up make it even more summery. A few months ago I purchased some tropical fruit curds a Mango Peach and a Guava. They had been in my pantry ever since with me trying to figure out what to do with them. Don't you just love impulse buys. So I thought why not fill these cupcakes with a mixture of the two curds. Great idea right.... Wrong, oh so very wrong. I put the cupcakes in the oven, no turning back now, and opened up the curds to combine them together in a bowl. As soon as I opened the first one I knew I had an issue on my hands. The curd at the top of the jar was a completely different color and texture, it looked almost congealed. So I thought well maybe because that came in contact with the air when it was packaged it gets like this. So I spooned off the top of the curd to see if the rest was fine. It looked fine so I put it in my bowl and moved on to the next jar hoping for better results, but was faced with the harsh reality of the exact same results. So I spooned off the top again and spooned it into the bowl with the other curd. I gave them a good mix and gave it a taste. Yuck, it tasted eggy and a little off. I made P taste it and he agreed but didn't think it was as bad as I thought. So I thought maybe my previous experience with the congealed top made me think it was worse that it actually was. So in my first moment of clarity I decided to just make one cupcake with the filling and see how it tasted before I filled the rest of them.
So after waiting anxiously for another 30 minutes I filled and frosted my test cupcakes and took big bite and........ immediately spit it into the garbage. It was all wrong did not work at all. In my second moment of clarity, the curd went down the drain. And plain coconut cupcakes is what I was left with. Good in their own right and they had taught me two lessons. If I ever want to use curd to just make it myself because I know how and then I will be happier with the results and maybe this was the kitchen god's way of saying don't mess with a good thing, keep it simple.


Coconut Cupcakes

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a bowl cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a bowl on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

I halved the recipe for the frosting as it sounded like a ton of frosting and the halved recipe was plenty. There was even some for me to eat out of the bowl.

Cupcakes based off of Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes.

8 comments:

  1. I have never even seen mango or guava curd, sounds good though but sorry it didn't work. I've made those cupcakes before and they were wonderful.

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  2. Katie, it's the way we learn. Actually, unless you're lazy, like me, you don't always learn. I decided to make Piloncillo Pound Cake. I was in a hurry so instead of cutting out a piece of parchment paper to use at the bottom of the loaf pan, I just sprayed it with non-stick. Well, I don't have to tell you how that came out. One stuck completely and the other partially. I was so upset, but I kept them. The broken one is my "go by the dining tabe and pick off a chuck"piece. Can't let it go to waste.

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  3. I so know what you mean about those impulse food purchases. Just what was I thinking when I picked up the rather large jar of lignonberry sauce/jelly at Ikea 2 months ago?

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  4. Sorry about all the curd issues, but the plain coconut cupcakes look and sound wonderful anyway!

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  5. Hey Katie, will you please come by my blog, I have a message for you.
    Big hugs.

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  6. Hello Katie. Came over from Teresa's. Congrats on your award! I did not know curd lasts that long! We usually finish them off the with a week of being bought! The coconut cakes look great!

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  7. Noble - They are pretty darn good aren't they.
    Teresa - I have done that before, and I too have just eaten it out of the cake pan.
    Arlene - I know the feeling, I do it all of the time. I think it drives P bonkers.
    Clumbsy - They were good plain, I guess I learned my lesson.
    Dibs - It was the first time I ever bought curd so I didn't know how long it should last. I learned my lesson.

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  8. Hey at least only one was a disaster!!!

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