One question I have been asked quite a few times, since I started blogging, is if I have a favourite cookbook or chef. I really do not and tend to decide to cook/ bake something new if the recipe seems attractive to me. However, in the course of the past two years, two cookbook authors whose recipes haven’t failed me yet are Beatrice Ojakangas and David Lebovitz. I find their recipes very doable and like their simple, well explained and straight forward approach to cooking.
I follow David Lebovitz’s posts regularly, and one of his recipes I had bookmarked to try out were the German Chocolate Cupcakes. To quote from his post,
_“I could never understand how anyone couldn’t like something so tropically sweet, that it was the perfect partner for dark chocolate.
I can see people not liking things like black licorice or those the icky red peppers bits that people put in things that one has to carefully pick out and leave on the side of the plate. But a dessert made with coconut and dark, bittersweet chocolate? Sign me up!”
I echo that sentiment so I signed up to make some cupcakes for myself.
There is nothing German about these cupcakes (or the chocolate cake which also goes by this name) and the name comes from Samuel German who created a sweet baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company. This chocolate cake typically uses chocolate and the frosting is made with chocolate, pecans and coconut.
I adapted this recipe from David’s who in turn adapted them from Lori Longbotham’s Luscious Coconut Desserts. I call my version German (not) cupcakes like the author of the original recipe, but for different reasons.
There were a couple of ingredients in David’s I don’t get here, and he offered me some alternative options for some other unavailable ingredients.
Here’s why mine are different. I reduced the eggs by one yolk because we don’t like an “eggy” smell or taste and so I tend to cut down on the eggs in my bakes to bare possible minimum.
I reduced the butter to 100gms because my butter comes in 100 gm slabs. I replaced the buttermilk with fresh home-made yogurt because I always have it on hand.
This one’s topped with chocolate-coconut frosting.
For the frosting, I left out the pecans as we don’t get that here. I replaced the egg yolks with cornstarch and here in India, unsweetened coconut flakes are called dessicated coconut. We don’t get evaporated milk either and David suggested I could use heavy cream or half-and-half. Again, I don’t get either, so I used the 25% cream I get here.
These cupcakes were very soft and light in texture. Unlike most American recipes where the sugar is usually on the higher side for our tastes, these are just right when it comes to sweetness.
I think the coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and the cocoa make for a very intense chocolate taste which is more suited to an adult taste.
I would suggest using a sweeter chocolate (or milk chocolate) and substituting the coffee with hot water if baking these cupcakes for children though my teenage daughter liked the dark chocolate version. Oh, and these cupcakes don’t dome very much and tend to be a bit flat on top.
These are the ones with the chocolate mascarpone mousse.
The chocolate-coconut frosting pairs up really well with these cupcakes, but then we like coconut. I can understand how only those who really like coconuts would like this frosting, though.
I have made these cupcakes a couple of times now and the last time I did, I had some home-made mascarpone which I used to make some dark chocolate mousse for another project.
So I topped these cupcakes with some of that mousse. Much as I liked the coconut frosting, I have to say the mousse took these cupcakes to an entirely more decadent level.
I have included both the chocolate-coconut frosting and the dark chocolate mascarpone mousse recipes here. These recipes are what I used on my cupcakes and have been adapted from the originals. This also makes both the frostings eggless.
German Chocolate (Not) Cupcakes.
(Adapted from David Lebovitz)