Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ann's February Cake - White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Last Christmas, my mom gave me some heart-shaped cupcake holders, and they were absolutely screaming to be used during February. So I made my month's cake on the night of Valentine's Day. Luckily for me, I had plenty of love to go around that evening. What better way to show affection to those dearest to me than to make some awesome heart-shaped cupcakes?

I knew exactly what I wanted to make, but didn't have a recipe to use, so I found a basic white cupcake recipe and added the raspberry elements that I knew would make these perfectly Valentine's-y.

The batter was super simple, with a light almond flavor, but the frosting I used was made with white chocolate and cream cheese and it was luscious. After the cupcakes had baked and cooled, I frosted them, which obscured the shape of the heart a bit, but I did my best to keep the shape.
I cut the tops off the frosted cupcakes and then filled them with whipped cream into which I had stirred and mashed some fresh raspberries. The raspberry cream was mounded onto the bottom of the cupcake, then the frosted top was replaced, and finally I added some fresh raspberries in an attempt to make a heart on top. It didn't really work, but no one was complaining.

These were SSSSSSSOOOOOOO good! The cream cheese and white chocolate was the perfect match with the raspberries, which were completely worth the out-of-season expense. Is there anything better than a perfect raspberry? I really can't think of anything more satisfying than these ruby-topped cakes. My roommates agreed:

Since I made these, they have been spoken of with reverence in our apartment. It's a good thing they tasted great, because they were also quite difficult to eat.

Valentine's Cupcakes

Cakes: (Recipe is "White Christmas Cupcakes" from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans)
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 C whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set out 12 heart-shaped cupcake holders.

2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, stir the milk, vanilla, and almond extracts together.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 3 minutes; the mixture will look sugary and form large clumps. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing just until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth. Set aside.

4. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Beat on high speed until the egg whites look shiny and smooth and the beaters form lines in the egg whites. If you stop the mixer and lift up the beaters, the whites should cling to the beaters. Stir about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the reserved batter. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining egg whites just until blended.

5. Fill each cupcake holder with 1/3 cup of batter. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.

3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1/4 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

1. Carefully melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Transfer into a large bowl.

2. Add the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla to the white chocolate and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth and blended, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until it is incorporated and the frosting is smooth, about 1 minute.

Heavy whipping cream
Fresh raspberries

1. Whip cream to desired consistency, and add a handful of fresh raspberries and mash with a fork to tinge the cream pink. Add more as desired, stirring and mashing.

2. Slice the tops off the cupcakes. Frost the top with the cream cheese frosting, carefully preserving the heart shape.

3. Mound the raspberry cream onto the cut side of the cupcake bottom, then place the frosted top back over the cream. Finish with three fresh raspberries.


Elizabeth said...

OH. MY. GOSH! I must have those right now!!! Those look sooooo tasters. I want to cry with wanting those.

Julie said...

Comrade, you know that garbled sound you make sometimes that is like aosifaougfdbfjdsf? That is the sound I'm making in my head right now, thinking about how good these cupcakes were.

Soooooooooo good.

Though I'm a little disappointed you didn't mention how you made someone eat one with chopsticks.

DeskSet said...

That's funny . . . I don't remember speaking of cupcakes with reverence. I must have been too busy stuffing my face. Yum!

Elizabeth said...

BTW, that first picture of the batter in the cupcakes is really pretty. I like how you took it from straight above.

Mrs. Hass-Bark said...

Why do you hate me so much that you never invite me over? Is it because I smell?

PS--they look divine.