About a month ago, a very close friend’s mother lost her battle with cancer. Rhonda was a wonderful woman with a good heart, spoke her mind, and laughed all the time. Literally, all the time…she always had a smile on her face. She organized the Relay for Life in Myrtle Beach and her hometown. Before she passed, she had been following all of the goodies that I’ve been making. She joked about stalking me. Hey, that’s fine with me…because I’m guilty of bugging people. A lot of people, actually. I asked my friend what her mom’s favorite flavor was with desserts, and she told me anything with pecans in it. So, the ole noggin started chugging away, thinking of what I could make for a cupcake with pecans in it. At the Relay for Life, they had a cupcake contest, and Rhonda had said something a couple of months ago about me entering the contest. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or not, but when Rhonda passed…I knew that it had to be done for her. So, I really started working on a recipe for a really good German chocolate cupcake with lots of pecans in it.
The first batch was pretty yummy, but I felt like it was missing something. Calories and fat, maybe? That had to have been it, because these things were rich, heavy and delicious when I tweaked the recipe. More German chocolate? Check. More coconut? Check. More pecans? Check. Personally, I love nuts in desserts, especially cookies…so it wasn’t a problem to add a lot more pecans to the filling and icing. Since I was donating these cupcakes to a cancer benefit, I decided to give them a little something special as a decoration topper. I bought the ribbon mold at amazon.com, and made purple ribbons to go along with the event. Since it was a little more difficult to make the icing look pretty (those clumps of pecans don’t go through a decorator tip very well…more like, at all), the chocolate topper certainly helped the appearance.
When it was time for the contest to begin, I was right up front. Each of the judges took their cupcake, and since it was the first cupcake they were trying, people were surrounded with cameras, taking pictures of the first bite. I only wish they had gotten a picture of the guy on the right when he took a bite. His forehead crinkled up, he looked at the inside of his cupcake and said, “Mmm, that’s good.” And here’s me, grinning ear to ear. To make things even better, the guy on the left has a local show in Myrtle Beach. I was standing with Rhonda’s family, and he looked over at them and gave a thumb’s up at the cupcake…they both started pointing vigorously at me. He pointed at me and asked, “Did you make this?” I nodded and smiled. He joked about having me on his show, and I laughed…told him I didn’t live in town. “Do you come back to visit often?” In all honesty, I look for reasons to take a trip to the beach for a weekend…especially with a free place to stay only two blocks from the ocean. “Yep, actually I do,” I responded to him. He said, “Come here.” I couldn’t get over there fast enough, my curiosity and excitement had gone into overdrive. He gave me his card, and told me to call him about two weeks ahead of time the next time I come down, and let him know what recipe I want to use. Ho. Lee. Cow. I’m surprised I haven’t laminated his business card and framed it yet.
Although I didn’t win the contest, I couldn’t have been happier with how things turned out. I walked up to Rhonda’s family after the winner was announced, and I said, “Soooo, I didn’t win the contest…but I got invited to be on a show. I’ll take it.” Biggest smile ever was plastered all over my face. As I was walking back to my car, I couldn’t stop laughing, and called my husband. Next phone call was my cousin…who’s one of my blog fans. Hearing her excitment catapulted my excitment even further, which I honestly didn’t think was possible at this point. Needless to say, it was a good night.
Oh yeah, back to the cupcake… After the first batch, I knew what needed to be changed. While I was chopping up the chocolate to go in the batter, I must have gotten it on my hands. I had an itch on my face, so I rubbed the inside of my cheek with my hand. Several minutes go by, and I went to the sink to wash my hands after I’m done chopping everything up. When I looked at my hands, I saw melted chocolate all over the place. “Hmmm,” I said out loud as I thought of rubbing my cheek. So, I went into the bathroom and glanced in the mirror…only to see a HUGE smudge of melted chocolate all over my cheek, and couldn’t help but to laugh hysterically. This was just another time that I was lucky there wasn’t a candid camera hiding somewhere. So, we have a German chocolate cupcake with chunks of German chocolate inside, a coconut pecan filling, and topped with a German chocolate coconut pecan icing. If you don’t think that’s a mouthful, just take a bite of one…
1 box Duncan Hines German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 small box instant coconut creme pudding
2 German chocolate bars, chopped
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water
8 oz. sour cream
Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2-4 minutes. Spoon into lined muffin pan using ice cream scoop. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 24-25 minutes. Cool completely, remove center of cupcakes by using a cupcake corer. Fill with filling, top with icing.
2 sticks butter, softened
2 lbs. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup finely grated coconut
3/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer at medium speed for about 4 minutes. Remove 1 cup for filling, add 1 German chocolate bar (melted and cooled) to remaining filling, beat until chocolate is mixed in well.
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