I did have a hard time naming these because "Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Toasted Coconut, Toasted Almonds, and Chocolate Ganache" was way too long of a title. So I came up with "Toasted Almond Joy Cupcakes." I think it works.
This recipe makes 18 delectable cupcakes. In case you want to make 6 cupcakes rather than the full 18, I went ahead and made it easy by putting the correct measurement for 6 cupcakes in parenthesis after each ingredient. You're welcome!
Recipe for Toasted Almond Joy CupcakesINGREDIENTS:
For the chocolate cupcakes
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. of Dutch-processed cocoa powder (3 Tbsp.)
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. of very hot water (3 Tbsp.)
2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (3/4 cup)
3/4 tsp. of baking powder (1/4 tsp.)
3/4 tsp. of baking soda (1/4 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. of salt (a little over 1/8 tsp.)
2 sticks plus 1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (5 2/3 Tbsp.)
1 2/3 cup of granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp.)
3 large eggs, at room temperature (1 large egg)
2 Tbsp. of heavy cream (2 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. of pure vanilla extract (1 tsp.)
1 1/2 tsp. of chocolate extract - optional (1/2 tsp.)
3/4 cup of low-fat plain yogurt (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (for brushing, to keep cupcakes moist)
1/2 cup of water (for brushing, to keep cupcakes moist)
For the cream cheese frosting
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature (5 1/3 Tbsp)
1 1/2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature (1/2 package)
2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted (2/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract (1/2 tsp.)
3/4 tsp. of pure almond extract (1/4 tsp.)
For the topping
1 cup of sweetened shredded flaked coconut (1/3 cup)
30 raw almonds, chopped (10)
For the chocolate ganache
4.5 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup of heavy cream
*Any extra you can store in an airtight container for later use, you will have extra if you are only making the 6 cupcakes.
First, toast the coconut and almonds for the topping. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the coconut and almonds in a single layer on a baking pan. Put in oven and cook for about 5 minutes, toss around with a spoon, then cook for another 5 - 10 minutes or until toasty-looking. Remove from oven and set aside.
Make the cupcakes.
Adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Put the cocoa powder in a smallish bowl. Add the hot water (I brought the water to just a boil and then let it cool for about a minute) to the cocoa powder and then whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift ingredients together.
Put the softened butter and granulated sugar into a medium saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, then use an electric hand mixer set on medium speed to mix until the mixture becomes cool, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time into the mixture, and mix well on low after each addition. Add in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and chocolate extract and blend. Add in the cocoa mixture and blend until smooth. Set the hand mixer on low speed, and then add in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Keep the mixer running, and then add in 1/2 of the yogurt, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the rest of the yogurt, and finish with the flour mixture. Blend together until just incorporated.
Divide the cupcake batter into the liners (I use a cookie dough scoop for less messes). Put the cupcakes in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Rotate pans halfway between baking. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
To help with keeping the cupcakes moist, brush each one with sugar water. Put 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a simmer and sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat. Lightly poke the tops of each cupcake with a fork. Dip a brush into the sugar water and brush the tops of each cupcake with the mixture.
For the frosting
Put the softened butter and cream cheese into a large bowl. Blend together with an electric hand mixer set on medium-high speed until smooth. Blend in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add in 1/2 of the powdered sugar and blend on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add in the rest of the sugar and blend again until completely smooth.
Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting. Line cupcakes on a pan. Sprinkle each one with the toasted coconut and toasted almonds.
For the chocolate ganache
Put the finely chopped chocolate into a small bowl. Put the cream in a small saucepan and set over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until completely smooth. Let cool for a minute before topping cupcakes. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle chocolate ganache over the tops of each cupcake. Sprinkle on more coconut and almond mixture, if desired.
Put the cupcakes into an airtight container and store in the fridge until ganache hardens (about 20 minutes). If not serving right away, keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Cupcakes can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats
Chocolate Ganache Recipe from: All Recipes
If you love chocolate and coconut, try the recipe for coconut truffles!