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Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes with Fluffy Coconut Frosting

['3/4 cup blanched almonds (or rounded 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds)', '1 1/2 cups sugar', '6 cups sweetened shredded coconut (from two 14-ounce bags)', '2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour', '1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder', '1 tablespoon baking powder', '1 teaspoon baking soda', '1/2 teaspoon salt', '2 ounces unsweetened chocolate', '1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature', '4 large eggs, room temperature', '1 (13 1/2-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred', '2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract', 'Seven Minute Frosting', 'Jordan almonds (optional)', '2 nonstick muffin pans', 'each with 6 large (1-cup) cups']

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter muffin cups.
In food processor, process almonds and 1/2 cup sugar until finely ground. Add 2 loosely packed cups shredded coconut and pulse twice to chop slightly. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and whisk in flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In metal bowl set over pan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and remaining 1 cup sugar at high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate and beat at moderate speed until incorporated. Add 1/2 of flour mixture and mix at low speed until nearly smooth. Add coconut milk and vanilla and mix at low speed until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and mix at low speed until smooth.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost to top. Bake until tester inserted in center of 1 cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks.
Pour remaining shredded coconut into 9-inch-square baking dish. Run small knife around edges of pans and unmold cakes. Spread frosting on cakes and invert each into coconut to coat frosting liberally. Garnish with Jordan almonds, if desired.

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