REDUCED COCONUT MILK:
2 13/14 ox cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup(3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds scraped fom 1 split vanilla bean or 1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup reduced coconut milk(from above)
1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup reduced coconut milk(see above), room temperature
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 1½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted(for garnish)
Reduced Coconut Milk: Bring coconut milk to a boil in a large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (it will boil up high in the pan). Reduce heat to medium-low;boil until reduced to 1½ cups, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. This can be done up to 2 days ahead. Keep covered and in the refrigerator. It will settle slightly as it cools.
Cupcakes: Position rack in oven center, preheat to 350°. Line 18 muffin cups, or 24 cupcake size, with paper liners. If you are making the layer cake. Grease and line with parchment rounds cut to size, and grease over parchment, lightly dust with flour. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, beat on med-hi speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scraping down bowl occasionally. Beat in vanilla and remaining egg. Add half of the flour mixture, mix on low till just blended. Add the 1 cup of reduced coconut milk, mix until just blended. Add remaining flour mixture, mix on low until just blended. Divide among cups or pans.
Bake about 20 minutes, or until tops spring back and tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add confectionary sugar, 1/3 cup of the reduced coconut milk and vanilla, Beat on med-lo until blended, scraping down the bowl after all ingredients have been added. Increase to med-hi speed and beat until light and fluffy.
Frost cupcakes or bag with a large star tube. Garnish with toasted coconut. They can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.