Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Coconut "Twinkie" Cupcakes with Lemon Filling


My love affair with Asian desserts and pastries started last year during a vacation to SanFrancisco. I just couldn't get enough of the delicious Chinese bakeries, with my favorite steamed red bean buns. Sponge cakes, almond cookies, egg custard tarts, filled buns, moon cakes...Yum!! Upon returning home, I was excited to try some of the local bakeries. And although I haven't yet found the perfect steamed bun, Houston has a large Asian community and many options for wonderful sweets. What a great benefit of living in a large, multi-cultural city!


Anyway, I was very excited to try my first recipe for a friend's birthday from The Sweet Spot: Asian Inspired Desserts by Pichet Ong and Genevieve Ko. This cookbook has beautiful looking sweets! These cupcakes were great--light and airy, with a subtle crunch from the coconut and a tart lemon curd filling. I only piped a small amount of the curd into the cupcakes, about a tablespoon or less, and it was perfect. I topped them with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, hiding the hole for the filling. Cute! You will hear from this cookbook again! Continue for Cupcake recipe.

Coconut Twinkie Cupcakes with Lemon Filling
from The Sweet Spot, Asian-Inspired Desserts

Lemon Filling

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 t vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
1/2 t salt

Coconut Cupcakes

1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing ramekins
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sugaring ramekins
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 T grated lemon zest
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla extract

To make Filling:

  • Put all ingredients in a double boiler or in bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture becomes very thick, like jam, about 15 min. (Mine took quite a bit longer for some reason).
  • Remove from heat, put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd, and refriegerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.
For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and sugar 12 4oz. ramekins or a 12-cup muffin tin; set aside.
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the coconut; set aside.
  • Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk at medium-high speed until frothy. With the machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup of the sugar and continue whisking until medium-soft peaks form. Transfer to another large bowl.
  • Put the egg yolks and zest in the mixer bowl and whisk at medium speed until the yolks break, then add the salt and the remaining 2 T plus 2 t sugar and continue whisking until the yolks are pale yellow, thick, and doubled in volume, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla to the yolk mixture and whisk until well incorporated. Add 1/3 of the whipped whites to the yolks and stir well. Carefully fold in the remaining whites just until incorporated, trying to make sure they do not lose volume. Fold in half the flour mixture, then fold in the remaining flour until no traces of flour remain.
  • Divide the batter among the ramekins or muffin cups. If using ramekins, put them on a baking sheet. Bake for 4 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake until a tester comes out clean and the tops are puffed and golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then unmold and cool completely on a rack. The cake will deflate as they cool.
  • Transfer the chilled lemon filling to a pastry bag filled with a small plain tip. Poke a hole in the top of each cupcake with the tip, and slowly pipe in the curd until it begins to squirt out the opening. You will be able to feel when the cupcake is filled.
  • Serve the same day.


  • 1 comment:

    Augustina said...

    Hi Rose, I enjoy your food site and I think these cupcakes are so cute and dainty. I love lemon anything so I'm going to give these a try. Where do you find unsweetened cocunut flakes? I only seem to come across the sweet variety at the grocery store. Thanks!
    Augustina