Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 31st August 2012
I’m hosting a ladies night soon and I’ve been testing recipes. I’m hoping to have a trio of mini desserts for the ladies to enjoy. And I also want to prepare a couple of different cocktails. White chocolate and raspberries is one of my favourite combinations. White chocolate complements the raspberries and brings out their flavours. The pairing also works well together because white chocolate is so sweet, the tartness of the raspberries helps to cut through the sweetness. I’ve put these tasty White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries on the menu and I’ve decided to serve them with Chocolate Martinis.
I may be a self-professed chocoholic but I’ve never been much of a drinker and believe it or not up until the other day I had never prepared or tried a martini. And now that I have I know why I haven’t, the phrase, one martini, two martini, three martini…FLOOR immediately comes to mind but in my case I would be kissing the floor after a few sips. I might be crazy serving these chocolate martinis to the ladies but something tells me they’re going to enjoy them.
It took four batches of white chocolate cupcakes before I was happy with the texture and three before I finally gave up trying to use a combination of cake and pastry flour and all-purpose. My first batch sadly caved in the centre after pulling them out of the oven but they tasted great and the texture of the crumb (except the centre) was amazing.
I blamed the outcome on the phone call I answered during the preparation. I thought for sure I had over mixed the batter. After batch number two came out of the oven I knew that wasn’t the case. Not only did the second batch of cupcakes cave in the centre but also, they immediately shrank away from the paper liners. Back to the drawing board!
Still adamant on using the cake and pastry flour I set out to change a few of the ingredients. I decided to lower the temperature of the oven and played with the idea of switching from baking powder to a combination of baking powder and baking soda for the leavening.
I don’t know about you but when I get in the kitchen I lose all track of time, I glanced at the clock and I couldn’t believe my eyes, 1:30 in the morning. Normally I would fold up my apron and try again in the morning but Liana was heading to a dinner party the next day and she’d asked if she could bring the cupcakes for dessert.
Of course I said yes but at 1:30 in the morning I must say I was regretting that decision just a little bit (maybe a lot!). Knowing I had a crazy morning I had no choice but to continue baking. Well batch number three didn’t go any better than one or two.
Finally, I decided to make the switch to all-purpose. And when batch number four came out perfect I must stay I felt like kicking myself. Anyone who knows me will tell you one of my worst qualities is that I’m stubborn, when I get something in my head changing my mind is near impossible. The little voice in my head won’t allow me to give up. Don’t you just hate that inner voice?
The real kicker happened in the morning. After an hour or two of sleep I got up and proceeded to make the frosting. Liana came down and said, “Mom are you still making cupcakes?” My reply, “Well of course I am Liana, I have a bunch of appointments today and I need to decorate the cupcakes so they’ll be ready for your dinner party this evening.” Liana, “Mom I told you last night I had to cancel on dinner because they scheduled me to work last minute.” Me, “What…you’ve got to be joking!” Can you believe it?
The best part about trying to perfect the recipe, taste testing. The cupcakes are moist and light and the combination of sweet and tart is fantastic. I’ll warn you, they are addicting, and I couldn’t keep my hands off the mini cupcakes, two-bite yum. The cupcakes without the frosting remind me of these Cherry and Almond Tea Cakes.
I frosted the cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream flavoured with a hint of white chocolate and vanilla. And to dress them up a bit for Ladies Night I decorated them with white chocolate curls and a sprinkling of gold dust. I think they will be a hit with the ladies especially served with the Chocolate Martinis.
White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes and White Chocolate Raspberry Martini
Makes about 24 standard cupcakes + 12 mini cupcakes
- White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries
- White Chocolate-Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- White Chocolate Raspberry Martini
White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries
- 210 ml (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) whole milk
- I vanilla bean, split and seeded or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 313 g (2½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 267 g (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) caster (superfine) sugar
- 184 g (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 200 g (7 ounces) good quality white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 250 g (2 cups) fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Line 2 standard muffin tins and one mini muffin tin with paper liners.
- If using vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract see instruction below), in a small saucepan, bring milk, vanilla bean and seeds just to the boil over medium heat (small bubbles just beginning to form around the sides of the pan). Remove from heat, cover and set aside to cool.
- Using fine mesh sieve, sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk together to well combine.
- Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of just simmering water over low heat (make sure the bottom of the saucepan does not touch the water). Remove from heat and set aside allowing the chocolate to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Meanwhile, place eggs in a liquid measuring cup. Add vanilla extract (if using) and lightly beat with a fork.
- With the mixer running at medium speed, gradually add the eggs beating to just combine, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture, one-third at-a-time, alternating with milk in two additions (beginning with and ending with flour mixture, beating just to incorporate after each addition (do not over mix).
- Remove bowl from mixer. Using a large, flexible spatula fold in the melted chocolate.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups filling one-half full. Depending on the size of your berries place 2 or 3 raspberries (one raspberry for minis) in each cup. Spoon batter over raspberries to cover and filling muffin cups no more than two-thirds full.
- Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer tins to wire rack; allow cupcakes to cool for a few minutes in the tin. Remove cupcakes from tins and transfer back to wire rack to cool completely.
White Chocolate-Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 5 large egg whites
- 338 g (1½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 454 g (1 pound or 4 sticks) butter, cut into 1-cm (about1/2-inch) cubes, cool but not cold
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 100 g (3½ ounces) good quality white chocolate
- In bowl of stand mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar together. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water). Maintain a simmer over low to medium heat. Continuously whisk the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and reaches a temperature of 70° C (160° F) and mixture is milky white, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and attach to stand mixer fitted with whip attachment. Beat the egg mixture on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of just simmering water over low heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Replace the whip attachment with the paddle attachment. Gradually add the cubed butter and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. (If the buttercream appears like it is splitting, don’t worry it will eventually come together.)
- Add the salt and vanilla; beat for 5 seconds to combine.
- Add the cooled white chocolate and beat to just combine on medium-high speed.
White Chocolate Raspberry Martini
Recipe from The Nibble
I chilled all of the liquid ingredients in the fridge for a few hours before making the martinis.
- 45 ml (1½ ounces) Smirnoff Raspberry Twist Vodka
- 15 ml (½ ounce) Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
- 45 ml (1½ ounces) McGuinness White Crème de Cacao Liqueur
- 30 ml (1 ounce) McGuinness Ice Storm Raspberry Liqueur
- Grated white chocolate or chocolate curls
- Chill martini glasses in freezer.
- Dip the martini glass rims in one of the liqueurs and roll in grated chocolate or chocolate curls.
- Combine liquid ingredients in martini shaker and shake over ice.
- Strain the drink into the martini glass.
- White chocolate curls
- Gold pearl dust or confectioners’ sugar
- Transfer frosting to large pastry bag fitted with large decorative tip.
- Pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.
- Decorate with chocolate curls.
- Sprinkle gold dust or confectioners’ sugar over cupcakes.
- Buon Appetito!
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