Sunday, March 20, 2005

Pumpkin Cupcake/Muffin with Coconut Custard Topping

Pumpkin Cupcake/Muffin
Originally uploaded by suebobdavis.

These pumpkin cupcakes with coconut custard topping were my entry in the "Is My Blog Burning?" monthly themed cooking challenge. This month's theme is "My Little Cupcake (or Muffin)."

I was inspired by my interview of ex-White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier earlier this month and decided to use a recipe from his recent book Dessert University. found a recipe that he describes as either cupcakes or muffins - perfect!

I followed Chef Roland's recipe to the letter, except for one modification: he uses raw coconut in the custard topping. I toasted the coconut beforehand, because I like toasted coconut a great deal and am not so big on the raw stuff.

I have been handicapped in tasting by a terrible cold. When I first tasted these, the pumpkin and spice flavors seemed too subtle. Two days later, my sense of taste is returning and they are becoming quite lovely. They are moist and a nice dark orangey-brown color. I think the topping is a bit of lily-gilding – a little too sweet for my liking. I like them cut open and toasted, with a little butter.

Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Icing

1 1/2 cups white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground if possible
2 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12 muffin tin.

Combine dry ingredients except sugar. Combine wet ingredients and sugar in a different bowl. Mix together until just moistened. Put batter in muffin tin and bake for about 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool in tins 5 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, lightly toasted in toaster oven or regular oven until barely brown.
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients except coconut and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture boils. Remove from heat, add coconut and vanilla. Cool to room temperature before spreading on muffins.

If you are serving them for breakfast, call them muffins. For dessert, call them cupcakes. Isn't that sneaky!

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