Today my husband organized a "Farewell" lunch for a coworker who is leaving for Bahrain. Since her favorite dessert is German Chocolate Cake, I offered to make German Chocolate Cupcakes to thank her for her service and sacrifice and wish her well. I thought it would be a great idea to post the recipe on the blog today in her honor. I hope she will have the chance to make these cupcakes herself whenever she's feeling homesick and wants a taste of "home".
Since German Chocolate Cake can be dry and lacking in chocolate flavor, I use my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipe as the base instead of the traditional german chocolate cake recipe. It is dark, moist and full of chocolate flavor, everything a chocolate cake should be. The thing I love most about this chocolate cake recipe is that it actually gets better with age! It is even more moist and the chocolate flavor gets even deeper the next day. It's a great cake recipe to use to make a day ahead and leftovers (if any) taste awesome even several days later! The Coconut Pecan Icing recipe is DIVINE and the best I have ever tried. I could eat spoonfulls of this icing just by itself.
I know most people are not fans of German Chocolate Cake, but this combination won me (a non-german-chocolate-lover) over. I hope you'll try it for the German Chocolate Lovers (and maybe even convert the non-german-chocolate lovers) in your life!
Coconut Pecan Frosting
Makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes or an 8" layer cake
1 12oz can evaportated milk
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 2/3 c sweetened flaked coconut
2 c pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped into large pieces (it is important to toast the pecans to bring out the nutty flavor)
In a medium size saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, egg yolks and brown sugar. Add the butter and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened.
This process takes from 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour though a mesh strainer into a bowl.
Add the vanilla extract, salt, coconut and pecans and stir thoroughly to combine.
Cool completely to allow the frosting to finish thickening. It should become a thick spreading consistency. I usually cool mine to room temperature then put in the fridge for a few hours to finish thickening. You can also make it a day ahead.
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 24 cupcakes or two 8" layers or one 13"x9" cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c milk (I used 2% but whole or buttermilk would work too)
1/2 c canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c boiling water (I've also made this recipe by substituting 1 c hot coffee or adding 1 T instant espresso powder to the boiling water)
In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Add the eggs. milk, oil and vanilla extract. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the 1 cup of boiling water until incorporated. At this point your batter will look very thin and runny and you might start to panic, but don't worry, you didn't make a mistake! That's just how the batter looks...
Pour into the prepared cupcake pans (or cake pans if using). Bake at 350 until done and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cupcakes usually take about 25 minutes and cake usually takes about 30-35 minutes but all ovens are different so be sure to start checking for doneness around 20-25 minutes into the baking process.
When done, remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire cooking rack to cool completely.
Frost your cupcakes (or cake) with the Coconut Pecan Frosting and decorate as desired. Since I made cupcakes, I just frosted the tops then drizzled with a little chocolate ganache.
When I make this recipe into a cake, I usually make a chocolate frosting and use the Coconut Pecan Frosting in the middle of the layers and on top.