It just occurred to me that I never posted about the coconut-lychee cupcakes that I made for the Equinox party. I’m too lazy to write it all up again, so here’s what I put in my LJ more or less:
I arrived at the Awesomesauce at about 1:45 or so and started working on my cupcakes probably around 3pm and was working on them for a good two to three hours. You wouldn’t think cupcakes would be so labor intensive, but the bulk of the work for these involved getting the flesh from the fresh coconut. I’d never worked with a coconut before so it was a lot of fun to drill, drain and smash the thing. Lots of flashbacks to Tom Hanks in “Castaway.” Separating the flesh from the shells was really work-intensive as well.
When I shredded the flesh in stealth_eater’s Cuisinart, the coconut oil gunked the hell out of the machinery. Man, it made a humongous mess. I cleaned it up but for a while there it was like I made a disaster zone out of the whole kitchen.
Still, after tasting the end result, I don’t think it would have tasted nearly as delicious had I used pre-dried shredded coconut. The fresh stuff was just so chewy and gave the cupcakes a fun texture. Plus I got to hit a coconut with a hammer, and that was cool 😛
Somehow the cupcakes were perfectly spongey and soft. I don’t usually have much luck with getting baked goods the *perfect* consistency but I lucked out this time.
The dough itself was actually a lot drier than I was expecting, which is great. Lychee are so juicey I was afraid I’d get a really goopy dough and end up pouring the stuff into the cupcake molds, but the liquid was just right — the recipe calls for a little bit of coconut water, which I didn’t imagine I’d even need, but you really do! Otherwise the dough is *too* dry. I never would have thought that! So the dough was very easy to handle and the fruits cooked very well.
The frosting also took a while to make — it was a huge amount of creamcheese with just a touch of vanilla, grated fresh ginger and powdered ginger, but the effect was a wonderfully delicate flavor, so it was VERY VERY popular.
I left the frosting off four of the cupcakes you see in the lower right corner so one of the guests, who is lactose-intolerant, could enjoy these as well 🙂 I just sprinkled some coconut powder and powdered sugar on those.
…And it seems the cupcakes all went over really well, which made all the effort very well worth it!
I am horrible at frosting cupcakes (I … just lack the inherent ability to do it properly for some reason) so Omni volunteered to do it. Here she is doing what I simply cannot — frosting the cupcakes:
That giant bowl of frosting you see there… I still have most of it in the freezer.
I don’t know why the recipe called for SO MUCH frosting but now I have enough ginger-creamcheese frosting to last several millenia.
The garnish was a tiny piece of crystallized ginger.
Here is the recipe for the cupcakes I made from the CupcakeBlog, which is one of my favorite websites EEEEVAR.