INA GARTEN'S GERMAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Makes 14 cupcakes [no milk tweaks in brackets]
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature [ use Nucoa ]
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature [ 3/4 cup soymilk with 1/4 cup lemon juice ]
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature [ 1/2 cup plain yogurt ]
2 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with 14 paper liners.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
3. Divide the batter between the cupcake pans (I use one rounded 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop per cupcake). Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE FROSTING
For 14 cupcakes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter [ use Nucoa ]
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk [ 1 cup plain yogurt + 1/2 cup very vanilla soy milk]
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 extra-large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted
1 cup chopped pecans
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the milk, sugar, egg yolks, almond extract, vanilla extract, and salt with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens a little and coats the back of the spoon. Don't allow it to boil! If the mixture gets lumpy, turn off the heat and beat it vigorously with a whisk.
2. Off the heat, add the coconut, almonds, and pecans and allow to cool about 1 hour. Frost the cupcakes with a dinner knife or metal spatula