3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (I used Hershey Special Dark)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
2 sticks salted butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
4 oz semi sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
In the large bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Combine with a whisk. Add eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase mixer speed to medium -- beat for 2 minutes. Batter will be thick (and yummy. not that I'd ever eat raw batter).
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes 15 - 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
While cupcakes bake, make your ganache: In a microwave safe bowl, combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave for a couple minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from microwave and stir in corn syrup. Place bowl in refrigerator until the ganache is thickened.
Prepare buttercream: In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, almond extract and heavy cream on medium speed until smooth and combined. Turn mixer speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar until barely mixed in. Increase speed to high and beat for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes, top with a spoonful of ganache and coconut.