Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yes Please

Each summer I go through a 'favorite' ingredient phase- you know, one that I highly favor and spoil with usage- do you have that too? Last year, for instance, I was that crazy hormonal preggi who adored basil and put it in absolutely everything. This summer, so far, I've been all about the lime; they are so beautiful, so cute, miniature, and just wonderfully bright green pieces of souration and citrusness.

Consequently, my appetite has been longing for any form of dessert or evil treat infused with this green gem. As I went recipe searching, food network came to my craving rescue and tickled my dreams with a lime cupcake that had a white chocolate frosting.. I did make a few adjustments/alterations to the recipe, adding a bit more lime juice and lime zest, and so forth. In my husband's opinion, the coconut should be omitted, but I think it gives the cupcake a bit of oomph and texture (I'm right, he's wrong:)). At any rate, they are tantalizing little summer devils. Enjoy.

Lime Coconut Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
{adapted from Food Network}
Makes plenty!

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp grated key lime zest
1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup loosely packed sweetened coconut flakes (3.5 ounces)

The Frosting:

5 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped into small chucks
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lime juice (bottled or freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup sour cream
Fresh lime slices, for garnish*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract, key lime zest and juice and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 5 parts total, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold the coconut into the cupcake batter.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each liner almost to the top with batter. A spring loaded 1/4 cup ice cream scoop works great for this and ensures the cupcakes are all the same size. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a baking rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling you can make the frosting. In a small heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, carefully and slowly melt the white chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool until just slightly warm. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar until well combined. Add the salt, vanilla extract, key lime juice, and sour cream and mix until very smooth. Add the melted white chocolate and mix just until incorporated.

Frost the cupcakes and garnish with a bit of grated key lime zest.

* If you don't want to place fresh lime slices atop, you can always candy your lime slices so they are more edible. Google "candy limes" to find the how-to.

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