Posted by: Erin | August 21, 2010

Potlucks, Potlucks, Everywhere! (Part 2)

I believe I’ve said this before, but my office LOVES potlucks. We have them for EVERYTHING. We did one a few weeks ago for a coworker who was getting married, and then one last week for our annual retreat (which was a potluck barbecue at said coworker’s house). Potlucks are entertaining for me, because I use my coworkers as culinary guinea pigs. I like to bake, but I never really have a reason to, so whenever we have a potluck, I jump on the desserts list and try to pick one of the million baking recipes I’ve got bookmarked, particularly something I haven’t tried before.

For the barbecue potluck, I decided on cupcakes. I’ve been wanting to make coconut cupcakes for a while, so I used a recipe I found on (Coconut Cupcakes with Seven-Minute Frosting and Coconut Flakes). I didn’t want to use the Seven-Minute Frosting because I didn’t have corn syrup, and as I’ve mentioned before, making your own frosting without an electric mixer is kind of a pain. And really, what I wanted, was a coconut and chocolate combination. After much searching, I found a recipe for Chocolate Frosting. In the end, I used canned frosting due to time. I found a dark chocolate Betty Crocker canned frosting, which pleased me to no end – I’ve used milk chocolate frosting before, but never seen dark, and I thought the dark would work even better with the coconut than the usual chocolate frosting.

I used a bit more shredded coconut than the recipe called for, but it’s because I wanted to make sure the flavor was strong (recipes always seem to have a much smaller quantity of added things like coconut or chocolate chips or whatever than seems useful). I think the coconut milk added the extra punch of coconut, rather than just using sweetened shredded coconut. And the dark chocolate frosting was a very good choice on my part, if I do say so myself. I usually like a lot of frosting, but these cupcakes didn’t really need it to balance the tastes together.

The only real problem I encountered was minor: when the cupcakes were supposed to be done baking, I pulled out the muffin tray, and the cupcakes looked too pale to be finished. I expected them to brown on the top a little – I think my brain is so used to making muffins that it didn’t occur to me that cupcakes should not brown on top. I didn’t burn them or anything, and they still tasted just fine, it just meant that there was a very thin, slightly thicker layer of cake between the actual cupcake and the frosting. Nothing major, but I’m sure I’ll remember that next time. I’m definitely putting this into the rotation for quick and easy baked things for various occasions.

My rather ingenious setup for carrying the cupcakes to their final destination.

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