Man, I really dragged my feet with this one.
Ok so today we’re meeting Colin
Creevey, the youngest, smallest, and worst dressed of the group. He’s also an asshole.
Everything about this guy screams asshole: from his stupid leather finger-less gloves to his Byte Me shirt to his cartoonishly oversized Hawaiian trunks to his permanent troll sneer. He’s my second favorite character in the game, and it’s hard for me to explain why because I usually don’t like jerk characters. He’s a jerk character done right.
Anyway, onto the cupcake! Know what’s hard-headed, a pain the ass the make, and goes with tropical trunks? Coconut! You can definitely get already prepared coconut, but I just LOVE the smell, taste, and texture of freshly grated coconut. Plus, cracking open a coconut to get its sweet meat sounds like an extended metaphor for romancing Colin!
So we’re making coconut cake for the cake portion, kicking it up a notch with lime curd to reflect Colin’s sourness, and top that off with toasted boiled icing. Yes, I said toasted. No, we’re not putting it in the oven, we’re using a culinary torch, because fire is fun.
Coconut Cake: Cupcakes by Shelley Kaldunski
Lime Curd: Miette by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath
Boiled Icing: Miette by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath
COCONUT PREP-WORK (if you’re using bagged coconut, skip this)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F
2. Put the coconut in a cup and either drill the softest eye (it’s the eye that gives the most) with an electric drill or a hammer and awl/screwdriver. Dump the water.
3. Place coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Once your coconut has cooled off for a minute or two, take a hammer and flathead screwdriver to go along the deep grove that should form around the coconut to crack it open. Hitting the coconut against a hard rock several times while rotating it or chucking it on the driveway in frustration are also effective methods of opening your coconut, as well as cathartic.
5. Using a flathead screwdriver or a spoon or a coconut tool, go along the inside of the coconut to pull the meat away from the shell.
6. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the brown skin off the white meat, then wash and pat the meat dry.
7. You could use a box grater to grate the oily coconut, or you can use the food processor. I like to use the grating blade to make nice, chewy chunks like I do for my carrot cake. You’ll have enough for this recipe and for the next by putting the extra in a freezer bag and tossing it in the freezer!
1/3 cup grated coconut
1 cup AP flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk (if you shredded your own coconut, boil a little over 1/2 cup of whole milk in a heat-proof glass cup, stick 2 oz of coconut in it, cover for 1 hour, then pour it over cheese cloth and squeeze it until you milk it for all it’s worth)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 TBSP lime zest (you can do 1/2 TBSP if this is too punch-in-the-teeth for your taste)
7 large egg yolks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
Lots of little bowls/tupperware
1 medium and 1 large bowl
heat proof bowl
medium sized pot
large heat-proof measuring cup
fine mesh strainer
When you’re cracking your seven eggs, set the seven yolks in the heat proof glass bowl and put in the fridge. Put one egg white in one bowl and crack a whole egg over it, save another three whites in a separate bowl, and put the last three white in a tupperware to save for another baking adventure. Now that you’ve got the egg situation in order, time to start the cake! Preheat the oven to 350° F and line the muffin tin. Chop up your coconut and whisk it with the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy with your electric mixer on med-high speed. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Put the mixer on low. Beat 1/3 of flour mixture until just mixed. Add half coconut milk and beat until just mixed. Repeat pattern until it’s all mixed. Spoon the mixture evenly in the tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remember to check your cupcakes a couple of minutes before the 18 minute mark. You’ll know the cupcakes are done when you stick a tooth pick in each center and they come up clean or with a couple of crumbs. While the cupcakes are baking, get a start on that curd! Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest before putting it over a pot with simmering water that does NOT touch the bottom of the glass bowl. Whisk occasionally until it thickens up like a curd and reaches to 172° F on your candy thermometer. Another way to check that it’s done is to stick the back of a wooden spoon on the curd, run your finger and get a trail that sticks and doesn’t run off the spoon.
When the curd is done, strain it into a heat-proof measuring cup.
Let cool for 20 minutes. This should give you enough time to take out the cupcakes and put them on a wire rack to cool. Once the curd has cooled, whisk in the butter. Place some cheese cloth over a bowl, pour the curd in, and squeeze it for all it’s worth. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming and place into the fridge until well chilled. Hang in there, because we’re almost done! Core your cupcakes and admire your work, then clean up everything to begin working on the boiled icing.
Put the egg whites and vanilla in a large bowl with the electric mixer on standby.
With a heat proof measuring cup on standby, clip the candy thermometer to the small saucepan and combine the sugar, cream of tartar, and water. Stir on medium low until the sugar syrup reaches 240° F, then IMMEDIATELY pour the syrup into the measuring cup.
Whip the egg whites on medium and SLOWLY pour the sugar syrup on the side of the bowl to prevent scrambling your egg whites. When all the syrup has been poured, beat on high until you reach stiff peaks, has thickened considerably, and is slightly warm. Put in a piping bag and snip off the end.
Take out your lime curd and put the lime…
Ok so you after put the LIME curd in the COCONUT cupcakes–
–pipe the boiled icing over it.
Y’know, these cupcakes look a little plain, don’t they? You know what will fix that problem? FIRE! But first–
THE OWL’S RULES FOR NOT SETTING YOU AND YOUR HOUSE ON FIRE
1. READ THE INSTRUCTION FOR YOUR CULINARY/INDUSTRIAL TORCH
2. WEAR CLOSED-TOE SHOES, LONG HAIR BACK, AND SHORT SLEEVES
3. HAVE BAKING SODA AND A POT LID ON STAND BY IF YOU DON’T OWN A FIRE EXTINGUISHER
4. CLEAR YOUR FLAME-ZONE OF INSTA-FLAMMABLE MATERIALS
5. PLACE WHATEVER YOU’RE GOING TO TORCH ON A METAL RACK/GLASS PLATE TO PREVENT SCORCHING YOUR POOR, ABUSED COUNTERTOP
Ok, I think I got it covered. If you don’t feel like you can handle the torch, no worries, this recipe is delicious without it!
However, since I have pyromanic tendencies…FLAME ON!
I tried to keep the tip of my flame juuuust above the icing, and you can either toast it in a zig-zag way or in a circular motion. I liked having more brown than white on my cupcakes. Don’t freak if the edges of the cupcake liners get singed, it just means you’re a little too close to the liner!
Look how cute these came out! Make sure to chill the cupcakes in the fridge for 1 hour before eating to give the curd and the icing a chance to set. Or you can be impatient like me and cut it before it sets:
This is hands-down my favorite cupcake of the first three I’ve made so far. Toasting the sweet boiled icing gives it an almost toasted-marshmallow taste that helps balancing out the punch-in-the-teeth sour lime curd, and the coconut cake is moist and chewy like I like it.
I can’t believe we’re halfway through the characters already! The next one I’ll definitely do is Jay, who is my favorite guy out of the bunch. Hopefully I’ll get his done a little quicker this time.