Life is finally starting to settle into quiet bliss; the shop has calmed down and the last Christmas market has been and gone leaving us exhausted and content. I was starting to feel like a little bit of a scrooge this year, I haven't had the time nor energy to really think about Christmas and all of the festivities that come with it. My decorations were still locked away in my loft and my tree stand was gathering dust in the shed, lord knows what my neighbors must have thought looking in at my bare home. Not a fairy light to be seen through my living room window. Well, all of that changed today. I had a word with the lovely guy who runs a nursery and sells his bonny wares up from Pet Lamb, and a stunning tree was delivered to my home this morning. Fairy lights were strung, baubles were wrestled from the greedy paws of the cats, My living room is now suitably festive and beautifully cosy.
In between untangling strings of glittering lights I found the time to make some delightfully moreish cupcakes. Decorating a tree is hungry work you know.
Making your own creme patisserie may sound daunting, but it really couldn't be easier and it's far tastier than shop bought. Just keep a close eye on your pan and you can't go wrong.
Coconut Cream Pie Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
75g dessicated coconut
3 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp coconut extract
300ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar
20g plain flour
350g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
For the creme patisserie:
In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Sift the flour and cornflour together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk and vanilla bean just to boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg curdling in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Add your vanilla extract to the egg mixture, then pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature while you get on with your cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 180C - 160C fan and line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, coconut and baking powder. Set aside. Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and mix until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the flour mixture in one go ensuring all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Stir through the milk.
Fill the cupcake liners to 2/3 full and bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before removing to finish cooling on a rack. Once cool hollow out the centre of each cake using and apple corer and fill with the cool creme patisserie.
For the frosting place the soft butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low to combine. Still mixing slowly add the milk until you reach the desired consistency. Pipe or swirl onto each cake and enjoy.