Curiouser and curiouser….

Alice in Wonderland Cupcakes from the wonderful ‘Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook’. These are stunners, and they will blow your mind. Even better, they will blow the mind of anyone you give them to. Ok cake fans, time to cook. This is an Aussie recipe, so all in cups…

Coconut and cherry cake ingredients
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup milk
400g sour cream
200g softened butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
1/2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup chopped glace cherries

Makes 24

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases, as bright as you like. Pink is obviously preferable, as ever.

2. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add the desiccated coconut and mix, using your hands. Damn girl! You don’t need no wooden spoons!

3. In another bowl, mix together the milk and sour cream until smooth. If your cream isn’t sour enough, tell it it’s wife cheated on it. That should help. Inappropriate?

4. In yet ANOTHER bowl, cream the butter and coconut essence together for 1-2 minutes – this should really help add a ‘heart’ of coconut to the recipe, instead of just adding it to the mixture later.

5. Add the castor sugar a third at a time, and beat for 2 minutes between each addition. It may sound labour intensive, but you really won’t regret it – when you’re using something like desiccated coconut, the rest of the cake needs to be EXTREMELY SMOOTH. As smooth as…no, no, I do that joke every blog entry. After the last addition of sugar, keep beating until you can hardly feel your wrist. You want it to look as though the sugar has almost completely dissolved into the mixture.

6. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each. It’s tres tres important that the mixture is light and fluffy, or your friends won’t ever speak to you again.

7. Add a third of the flour mixture at a time to the creamed mixture, and beat until just combined. Add half of the sour cream mixture and also beat until just combined. Repeat this until all the ingredients are combined. After the remaining third of the flour is combined, beat until mixed but not ‘tough’.

8. Add glace cherries and beat until…until what? Yes! JUST COMBINED.

9. Spoon mixture into your cupcake cases, filling until half full. Bake for between 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

10. Once removed from the oven, take the cakes out and leave them to cool on a rack for around 30 minutes, otherwise when you ice it you’ll get soup instead.
Pink Coconut Ice Frosting

9 egg whites
6 cups dessicated coconut
9 cups icing sugar
pink food colouring

1. Industrial quantities of coconut ice!

2. Beat the egg whites for 15 seconds using a mixer on low speed. The minute it solidifies, you will get a rush of incredible wellbeing. I’d imagine that’s how it feels to have a baby – not 15 seconds ago, you were cradling a sloppy mixing bowl of egg whites, and now look! A glorious mountain range, carved out in stiff egg….it’s a miracle! Now hold it above your head to prove you’ve done your job properly.

3. Right campers – add the coconut, sifted icing sugar and 3-4 drops pink food colouring, or however much it takes to satisfy your cravings for pinkness. For me it’s a lot more than 3-4 drops, I’ll tell you that for free.

4. Listen up and listen well, and listen….good. This will SET. And it will set QUICKLY. So what you have to do is pretend you’re in a sequel to ‘Speed’. ‘Speed 4: Race Against Coconut Ice’. (Apologies if there already has been a Speed 4. Apologies because it was undoubtely crap.) Goddammit you! You’re gonna have to work fast! If you don’t…..YOU’LL HAVE TO THROW YOUR ICING IN THE BIN.

5. Sorry, might have got a tad carried away. Now, I’m afraid there are no pictures of the following steps, because of Speed 4 syndrome – I couldn’t possibly pause to photograph. Take my word for it. Here’s what you do: Use your hands to roll a large spoonful of icing into a ball, around the size of a tiny peach. Place it (QUICKLY) on top of your cake, and shape it. Sprinkle with more desiccated coconut and top with half a cherry.

Alternative names I have for ‘desiccated coconut’:
Decimated coconut
Desegregated coconut
Disingenuous coconut
Disgraced coconutYou may know it by many others. It is a master of disguise.

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