Free at last!
From school, that is, which is a desirable situation for everyone involved: obviously for me, but also you, as this means more time for me to spend here, and my family and assorted recipients, as they will benefit from more goodies. The downside is, however, that my mom has decided to strike from her position as dishwasher and damage control manager of the kitchen during the summer months, tough love for me. (End pity spiel.)
The first matter of business was cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. Cupcakes are something that I find undeniably cute (individual cakes!) yet often don’t have the time or patience for during the year. But hello summer! I was happy to spend an afternoon baking these up.
These are quite cute–pretty-in-pink and topped with a fresh raspberry (and pretty striped cupcake liners don’t hurt). The flavor profile of the original recipe was purely white chocolate, but as that can get very sweet very fast, I wanted something tart for balance–enter raspberries. I kept the cupcake itself pure white chocolate, but spruced up the buttercream with raspberry puree. The cupcake was light and fluffy, with a definite white chocolate flavor, and topped with a slightly tart cream cheese white chocolate raspberry buttercream, struck a nice balance.
Summer, here I come.
White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
adapted from Karen DeMasco’s The Craft of Baking
Makes about 15 cupcakes, or 12 regular cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes
White Chocolate Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups (6 3/4 ounces/ 190 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons/ 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (6 1/8 ounces, 175 grams) sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
White Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup (3 3/8 ounces/ 95 grams) raspberries (fresh or defrosted frozen), pureed and strained to remove seeds
2 1/2 cups (6 7/8 ounces/ 200 grams) powdered sugar
Fresh raspberries for decorating, optional
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with butter or cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler: Bring water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Be sure not to boil. Set a small heatproof bowl with the white chocolate over the simmering water (not touching the water), and stir gently until melted. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the tepid melted chocolate to the butter mixture, and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture in 3 additions and the coconut milk in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Using a hand mixer and a large bowl (if you don’t have a hand mixer, transfer the batter to a medium bowl, clean the mixer bowl, and beat the egg whites using the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat the egg whites to soft peaks. In three additions, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through to ensure even baking, until the cupcakes are light golden, spring back to the touch, and a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. (Bake mini-muffins about 10-12 minutes). Remove cupcakes from tins and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the buttercream: Again, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler: Bring water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Be sure not to boil. Set a small heatproof bowl with the white chocolate over the simmering water (not touching the water), and stir gently until melted. Set aside to cool.
Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until light, creamy, and smooth. Add the tepid chocolate and raspberry puree to the butter mixture, and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. (The buttercream can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month; bring to room temperature and beat for a few minutes before using.)
Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the buttercream, swirling decoratively. Decorate with fresh raspberries, if desired. (If the buttercream is too soft to spread, chill for 20 minutes, then beat before using.)
Storing: Cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.