Birthdays galore

Earlier in the year, we figured out that two of my friends had back to back birthdays, so it was obviously the perfect occasion to throw a big party 🙂 A bunch of people in my program are commuters and don’t go out with us on the weekends, but who can say no to two birthdays? It was fun to have everyone there for a change.

It was also the perfect occasion to try out some new recipes. I love baking, but I love sharing my baked goods even more. During class the other day, I was skimming through some blogs and found the perfect inspiration. One of my friends absolutely loves bounty bars (similar to mounds), and I just so happened to stumble upon a recipe for Bounty Cupcakes.
First, I had to Germanize the recipe because sweetened coconut doesn’t exist here and because I bought the wrong ingredient… Did you know that Kondensmilch is not the same as condensed milk (I mean why would it be? It’s not a cognate or anything). Kondensmilch is in fact evaporated milk. Obviously 😉 However, you can easily make sweetened condensed milk by dissolving a ton of sugar in the evaporated milk. Just another fun little lesson in international baking 🙂

Unsweetened coconut is much dryer than sweetened coconut, so when I mixed the milk, sugar, and coconut, the mixture was a little crunchy. Luckily, I had a feeling this would happen, so I made the mixture the night before and let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next day it was perfect. I actually think it may have been too sweet with presweetened coconut.

Bounty Cupcakes:
Recipe for chocolate cupcakes found here: peas and thank you, plus I added chocolate chunks 🙂

Coconut Topping:
360g evaporated milk (1 can) plus 1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar (or one can sweetened condensed milk)
1 1/2 – 2 c. unsweetened coconut
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Ganache:
200g Cream
200g-300g dark chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips, but those don’t exist here)
For the coconut topping:
Heat evaporated milk and add sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and allow to cool. The mixture should be very thick and creamy.  Add coconut and powdered sugar. Store overnight in the fridge.

On the next day: Remove topping from fridge and bring to room temperature. Bake your cupcakes and allow to cool. Meanwhile, prepare your ganache. Heat cream until bubbles appear (but don’t boil) and pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth and allow to cool slightly.

With a knife, cut a hole out of the middle of the cupcakes and fill with the coconut mixture; also add a thin layer on top of the cupcake.  Then dip each cupcake into the ganache. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Since two of my friends had birthdays, I obviously had to bring two types of cupcakes. I decided to try this recipe here: http://www.sophistimom.com/best-banana-bread/. She claims it’s the best banana bread ever, so I figured I’d give it a try. I followed her recipe exactly and then added about  3/4 cup of chocolate chunks and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. I also made them in muffin form, mini muffin form, and bread form (this recipe makes a ton!) All three methods turned out wonderful, but the minis were the favorite. I also had leftover ganache from the Bounty cupcakes, so decided to add a layer and some more chopped walnuts.
Before
After, nicht schlecht 😉
All in all a great party, for two great friends 🙂 Alles Gute nochmal!
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