Anyway, having said all of this, I still love to bake and when I can I do. This weekend I'm making Vanilla Bean-Coconut Cupcakes courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine. Recipe followes below. I'm entering this into my first ever Cupcake Hero Contest. Wish me luck !
Vanilla Bean-Coconut Cupcakes
Reduced coconut milk
•2 13- to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk (preferably organic)
•2 cups all purpose flour
•2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
•1 1/3 cups sugar
•3 large eggs
•Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (for garnish)
reduced coconut milk
•Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium-low; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
•Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups.
•Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
•8 oz cream cheese, room temp
•8 oz unsalted butter, room temp
•1 tsp vanilla extract
•1 vanilla bean pod
•3-4 cups powdered sugar
1.Slit your vanilla bean in half and use the tip of your knife to scrape the vanilla bean paste from each side of the pod.
2.Whip cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.
3.Add butter and beat to combine.
4.Add vanilla and vanilla bean paste.
5.Beat in powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting is as thick and sweet as you’d like.
6. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes
I decorate my cupcakes with a Wilton 1M tip. Just take a giant ziploc bag, cut a corner and go for it. Beautiful professional swirls in mins.