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Herald-Mail announces the third annual cupcake contest

March 19, 2013
  • Chocolate coconut cupcakes was last year's Herald-Mail Cupcake Contest winner.
Herald-Mail file photo

Do you make cupcakes? Especially original, creative cupcakes? Enter The Herald-Mail's second annual cupcake contest, and your recipe might win first place and the $50 prize.

Cupcakes will be judged on taste, appearance, originality and overall quality. Only original or adapted recipes will be accepted.

Entries should be six of the same cupcakes — enough for judges to sample. All decorations must be edible.

Include with the entry a copy of the cupcake recipe on an index card that also has your name, hometown, and daytime and evening phone numbers.

Tell us the source of the recipe — whether it was an original creation or family recipe, or if you changed a recipe found in a cookbook, magazine or website. Tell us the source, so we can credit the creator.

Bring your entry to The Herald-Mail from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, April 15, at 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown. Judging will take place that evening.

Winning contestants must be available for a photo and a phone interview Tuesday, April 16, or Wednesday, April 17. Please keep a couple entries handy in case you are selected as the winning cupcake baker. We'll photograph you with your entry.

To be eligible, contestants must live in Washington County in Maryland; Franklin or Fulton counties in Pennsylvania; or Berkeley, Jefferson or Morgan counties in West Virginia.

Herald-Mail employees and their relatives are not eligible to win.

For more information, contact Lifestyle Editor Crystal Schelle at 301-791-7136, or crystal.schelle@herald-mail.com.

The 2012 cupcake contest winner was Carla Cardello of Mercersburg, Pa. The prize-winning recipe is re-printed on page A8.



— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor



Chocolate coconut cupcakes



For the cupcakes:

1 ounce dark chocolate

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup hot coffee

1/3 cup milk

1 1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



For the coconut-almond filling:

2 1/2 cups shredded coconut

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the coconut milk frosting:

3/4 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup superfine sugar

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. For the filling, place shredded coconut onto a baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes; check coconut and toast in 5 minute increments until brown. Set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup for garnish.

Meanwhile, for the cupcakes, line two, 9-cup cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium, heat-proof bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa. Pour in hot coffee and whisk until smooth. Whisk in milk, and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three parts, alternating with chocolate.

Divide batter into liners and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

For the filling, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar and flour until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 cups toasted coconut, almonds and vanilla. Allow to cool to room temperature.

For the frosting, in a small saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk and flour. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add cooled milk and coconut extract. Beat at high speed until it is the texture of whipped cream.

To assemble, dig a hole into each cupcake middle, being careful not to cut all the way through. Fill hole with the coconut-almond mixture and cover back up with the cut-out cake tops. Frost to cover the hole and garnish with reserved toasted coconut.

Makes 18 cupcakes.



— Adapted by Carla Cardello, winner of The Herald-Mail's 2012 cupcake contest



File photo

Carla Cardello won last year's cupcake contest with her chocolate coconut cupcakes.

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