Saturday, January 9, 2010
White Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes
Because Ryan loves a Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha, I decided to make him cupcakes inspired by the drink. I very loosely followed this recipe over at The Sweetest Kitchen. I used Grandma Burrows' chocolate cake recipe (posted below) for the cupcakes. I made 12 regular cupcakes, 24 mini cupcakes, and one 8-inch round cake (because Ella wanted me to...not sure what we'll do with it yet).
For the ganache filling, I used decaf instant coffee instead of the Starbucks Via (because that's what I had in the cupboard). I also doubled the recipe, but other than that, I was actually pretty faithful to a recipe for once. Well, the ingredients at least. I didn't exactly follow the directions, but it still turned out. I didn't think the coffee flavor was too pronounced, but I like my coffee a little on the strong side (that's what we call understatement, my friends), so I might not be the best judge. I discovered that filling cupcakes with ganache is a lot messier than it sounds, especially when your one year old locks her legs around your waist and refuses to be put down.
The frosting in the original recipe was a Swiss meringue buttercream. I've only made Swiss meringue once (about ten years ago), and it was a total flop. Since then, I've had a meringue phobia. I decided this was not the morning to conquer that phobia, so I made a simple white chocolate buttercream by pouring hot cream over white chocolate chips to make a ganache and then adding it to the whipped butter in my basic buttercream recipe. It was yummy!
The cupcakes were delicious! I usually like my cupcakes (and everything else, to tell the truth) slightly underdone and gooey, but since I would be filling the cupcakes with ganache, I went ahead and baked them all the way, which I think was the right thing to do. I usually only fill my cupcakes about 2/3 of the way full of batter. I probably could have filled them even a little less full to allow more room for the ganache, especially the mini cupcakes. I think the cupcakes would be super cute garnished with a chocolate covered coffee bean, but alas, I didn't have any on hand. Maybe next time.
Emilia gives the cupcakes her seal of approval. Here's a picture of the cupcakes she got a hold of. Guess that means she's tall enough to reach the table now.
Even though my tablecloth and Emilia's shirt are now covered in ganache, I'd call this experiment a success. Here's what I did:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (I use the powdered kind, or you can also substitute milk soured with lemon juice)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
Pour one cup boiling water over the top. Mix well. Pour into desired pans. Bake at 350 until done. (Do you like that specific time? That's how I roll.) Cool on cooling rack.
This recipe makes a lot. Like I said, I made 12 regular cupcakes, 24 mini cupcakes, and an 8-inch layer. I've gotten 40 cupcakes out of this recipe before. It makes a very moist cake.
2/3 cup whipping cream (I really used more like 1/2 cup)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons butter
Warm the whipping cream in the microwave until close to boiling. Pour over other ingredients. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir.
When the cupcakes are cool, use a bismark tip to pipe ganache inside cupcakes. Prepare for messiness. Having your seven year old stand next to you and tell you each time you drip and offer suggestions for improvement is especially helpful.
White Chocolate Buttercream
Warm 1/4 cup whipping cream in the microwave. Pour over 4 ounces of white chocolate. Let sit, then stir until smooth. Let cool.
Beat 2 sticks softened butter with mixer. When fluffy, add white chocolate mixture. Beat until well combined and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until it reaches desired consistency. I used about three cups. Keep beating until it's nice and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy.