For the pastry cream:I recommend making the pastry cream first because it will take the longest to chill and set.
In a medium pot, combined egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and salt with a whisk. Whisk in Almond Breeze.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thickened (2-4 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and butter or margarine.
Pour into a bowl and press a piece of wax paper onto the top of the pastry cream, so it is totally covered. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
For the cupcakes:In a large bowl, add chocolate and butter or margarine. Microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted. Stir in brown sugar. Set aside 5-10 minutes to cool to room temperature.
Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add cocoa, extracts and almond milk and whisk until smooth.
Spoon into 18 muffin cups, either lined with paper liners or sprayed with non stick and dusted with flour. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until tops are set (there shouldn't be a shiny spot in the middle).
Set aside to cool. (I found the liners easiest to remove before they were totally cool, around the 10 minute mark).
When cool, scoop out the middle of the cupcakes using a small spoon, being sure to leave at least ½" all the way around intact. (I save the middles to eat with the remaining pastry cream!)
For the whipped coconut cream:Make sure your cans of coconut milk have chilled at least overnight or for a full 24 hours.
Move your cans to the counter, being careful not to overturn them or shake them. Open them carefully and see that the coconut water and coconut cream have separated.
*I did my research, and most tutorials will say that the coconut cream will be at the top and the water at the bottom. When I opened my cans, I found the water at the top and the cream at the bottom. My cans were upside down, and I'm not sure if this is why. I slowly poured out the water and scooped out the cream with a metal spoon.
Add coconut cream to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth and incorporated. It should hold stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
AssemblySpoon pastry cream into a piping bag or ziploc bag. Cut the corner off and pipe a small amount into the middle of the cupcakes.
Spoon whipped coconut cream onto filled cupcakes (I used a piping bag and a large round tip).
Garnish as desired.
Refrigerate up to 3-4 days after making, if they last that long!