June 20, 2011

the joy of the almond

We've talked about candy bars before, and I've proclaimed that I enjoy a Mounds bar more than an Almond Joy, regardless of the fact that it's been ridiculously named. Mounds? Couldn't they do better than that? Why not Heaps or Piles or Clumps?


Alas, there's no turning back now, and I guess that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. I just wish they had consulted me--I have a knack for naming things.

The good news is that a flavor combination can have a silly name and still be amazingly delicious. That's how I feel about chocolate and coconut, and almonds are a nice bonus. These little cupcakes are coconut-flavored and get topped with an almond-infused chocolate buttercream. To finalize things, the garnish on top consists of coconut and sliced almonds, both toasted.


Unhinge jaw, insert tasty treat.

Clumps Cupcakes (with a little Almond Happiness)
(inspired by Martha)

Cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 cups powdered sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons milk, plus more, if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

To make the cupcakes, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients (including coconut) in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix remaining wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in three additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry, scraping the sides of bowl occasionally. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

To make the frosting, put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the powdered sugar, butter, milk, extracts, and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.
If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. This makes about 4 1/2 cups, which is more than enough to frost 21 cupcakes. Deal with the rest as you see fit.

57 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So pretty! I love almond extract. Those cupcakes look very tempting.

Cheers,

Rosa

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the ripples in the frosting!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe MOUNDS? really? That is hilarious! Love the fluting, frilly detail on the cupcakes though Grace :)

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Beautiful!!! Love it

bellini said...

I am "unhinging" as we speak.

kat said...

I'm good as long as you've got the almond in there!

jose manuel said...

Simplemente se ve deliciosa,que maravilla.

Saludos

Katie said...

These look amazing. I Love Almond Joy, great cupcake.

Julie said...

They really do look so fluffy and light, way better than either of those candy bars :)

Pam said...

Almond joy is my favorite candy bar so these cupcakes are screaming my name!

Melanie said...

What a tasty combination of cupcake flavors! The swirl on your cupcake is undeniably beautiful...that's talent!

Gloria said...

here,here, I love almonds Grace and this sounds delicious! gloria

Juliana said...

Grace, beautiful cupcakes and I love the combination of flavors...coconut, chocolate and almond. The pictures are so pretty.
Have a wonderful week ahead :-)

Lucy Lu said...

what a nice looking cupcakes! wow, looks super deliciousssss!

Marjie said...

They couldn't have consulted you. My Granny knew the guy who invented the Mounds and Almond Joy, and that happened when she was a little tyke. You are much too young. So name your cupcake something as pretty as the flavors instead!

jillian said...

Oh this is my favorite flavor combo- I love just about anything and everything with coconut! :)

Hungry Dog said...

My husband would go (coco)nuts for these...must try.

Barbara said...

Such a pretty topping on your clumps cupcakes...MOUNDS of deliciousness.

Joanne said...

Mounds really was a silly unappealing choice, now wasn't it? Thank god the candy bar makes up for it's lack of a good name with its deliciousness.

These cupcakes sound fantabulastic! That flavor combo is a classic for a reason.

Faith said...

Lol, you really do have a knack for naming things, Grace! Love the name of these little beauties, they sound incredible!

MrsLavendula said...

looks too beautiful to eat! =)

Emily Malloy said...

This is INCREDIBLE!

Jannett said...

love the photos... these cupcakes look so gooooood.... will have to try.. ;o)

Leslie said...

Ohhh yes..my jaw is WIDE open!!!

Deborah said...

Love this! Now I need some dessert...

Carolyn Jung said...

Look at how you tease us with those luscious ripples of frosting! How can we resist? I know I can't. Must make these pronto. ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy Wednesday!

Hornsfan said...

Wow Grace, these look quite fantastic! I love the coconut - chocolate - almond combo too.

shaz said...

You can feed me mounds of that frosting please Grace. It would help grease the jaw and ease the unhinging process. See what I did there? ;)

Angie's Recipes said...

wow Grace, look at all the sexy swirls!! I am drooling!!!!!!!!!

Lori said...

Love your clump cupcakes. They look so lacey. I love the coconut milk in the ingredient list. Mighty fine clumps!

Kerstin said...

Haha, I like clumps much better :) These look amazing - wish I was enjoying one right now!

sweetlife said...

sinful clumps, yummy!!

sweetlife

A plum by any other name said...

You do have a knack for naming things .. and a knack for baking things ... things that I want to eat at all odd hours of the day.

Catherine said...

mmmmh... moundy, clumpy goodness. I must get myself a piping bag; what a fabulous job you've done!

The Teacher Cooks said...

These are too good to be true! I love your frosting.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Oh man! Now I want a cupcake...now...

Donna-FFW said...

GORGEOUS cupcakes!!! I dont think though that piles would be a good name for a cupcake either hahaha..

I adore the chocolate coconut almond combination as well.

Robin Sue said...

I will keep my jaw unhinged so I can plow a few of these into my pie hole, or Mounds hole! mountain, tower, skyscraper, oh we could go on and on!

lisa is cooking said...

Chocolate, coconut, and almonds do make a nice combination. Love that the cake is coconut too. Lots of great flavor in these little clumps!

oneordinaryday said...

Gorgeous ribbons of frosting, Grace!

LyB said...

Almond infused chocolate buttercream?!? Yes, please!!!

Velva said...

God, that looks sinfully delicious. Love it!!!

Velva

Cara said...

This is a perfect combo- pass one my way!

Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

Oh yes, please! And it doesn't matter what you call them, I'd unhinge for one of those anytime. :)

WizzyTheStick said...

Lol you crack me up! I love Almond Joy. thank goodness they didn't let you name 'em! I would be going around telling folks that I love piles! Preparation H anybody?

Foodycat said...

See, the problem is that these cupcakes are totally made by your gorgeous piping skills, and I just can't get buttercream to do that! Maybe I can just have a bowl of buttercream on the side and eat a spoonful with each bite of cupcake? Too trashy?

peachkins said...

i miss visiting your blog and looking at the goodies you're making!

Cheryl said...

OMG that is gorgeous and sounds even better! I just made my first buttercream frosting and I am not making anything else ever! I an so going to make this!

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

Wow, this is one amazing looking cupcake, these sound simply irresistible!

Half Baked said...

Haha come to think of it Mounds is a ridiculous name...but wow that cupcake looks amazing, I don't care what it's called!

Lucie said...

It's 100 degrees in my office yet somehow I still manage to have a craving for these cupcakes...

Neil Butterfield said...

These look absolutely divine, how pictures can sell one on something.

foodhoe said...

good golly that is an extremely fetching looking cupcake... I love chocolate and almonds and that particular candy bar is one of my favorites.

Jeanne said...

MOunds?? What kind of name is that? Why not PILES hahahah?? There was a chocolater bar called a TV Bar when I was a kid back in SA - coconut in a choc fondant matrix, covered in cheap mil chocolate.... but I LOVED it! Love the look of the cupcakes too.

~~louise~~ said...

Okay, this is not good for me right at the moment. I simply can not get my screen to release one of those gorgeous cupcakes. Why oh why?

Thanks for sharing, Grace...Now I'll be thinking about them all day long:)

Chef Fresco said...

Aw these are so perfect! You are so talented with the icing decorating!