Warning: These cupcakes may cause excessive "yummy noises", toes curled in ecstasy and an overwhelming urge to hug me.
Just saying. They are that good.
So the other night I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the night at my aunt Arlene's place. She, by the way, is the master of all things baking, EXCEPT, she told me, cupcakes, which she had never done a lot of ... well luckily, this is where I come in! In anticipation of my arrival, my aunt had gone out and bought up (practically) Home Sense's entire stock of cupcake related products, so, needless to say, we had a lot to play with. Cupcake recipe books, corers, liners, spatulas, tins, and more were overturned onto the couch in front of us, and as we looked at this mountain of confectionary wonderment, my aunt uttered "... I think I may have gone too far". And while this may have been true ... it was really exciting.
At this point, we had yet to figure out what KIND of cupcake we wanted to make so we flipped through the newly purchased books. The one we decided on came from a book entitled Intoxicated Cupcakes ... so you know it's gonna be good. The recipe was for a white chocolate cake, and a raspberry frosting, which, don't get me wrong, would have been fantastic on its own (I would live on that frosting alone ... if I had some sort of bizarre death wish) but we had new gadgets to play with (and when life gives you cupcake corers ... use them?) so we needed to concoct a filling for the inside of the cupcakes.
Well nothing goes better with white chocolate than ... more white chocolate! But what was that Willy Wonka said? Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker, and these cupcakes weren't nearly "drunk"enough yet, so we decided to use Godiva white chocolate cream liqueur. Best. Decision. Ever. We played around with some different things and the filling of the gods was born (seriously, this is one to tell the grandkiddies about ... when they're 19+ of course).
The cakes themselves came out beautifully (as you will see below) and almost perfectly uniform. After leaving them to cool for a little while, we decided it was time to core them. The instructions said "line the corer up with the middle of the cupcake and press down. Holding the bottom of the cupcake with one hand and the corer in the other, twist in opposite directions and the cake will come out with the corer". Well, let me tell you a funny story. We lined that corer up with the middle of the cupcake. We pressed down. We held the cupcake in one hand and the corer in the other, and we twisted in opposite directions, and you know what came out? The corer. It had left a lovely circular indent ... but that's about it. We tried again, this time harder, and you know what happened? The corer and the centre came out (mostly), and about half of the remaining top of the cupcake caved in onto itself ... fail.
**This dear reader is one of those learning through experience moments, and that's okay, we made the mistake so you don't have to! When you make these yourselves, which you most certainly should, core the cupcakes when they're still quite warm so that they won't have set enough to crack**
As you may have learned from my last post, I don't take cupcake accidents too well. Now, I don't know if I was just second hand drunk from all of the liqueur we were using (it was a small kitchen...) but I just kept right on rolling. I used the handle of a spatula to hollow out about half of the cupcakes and it created a smaller hole, as you will see in the picture below. However, it still allowed for a great amount of filling, so if you have a coring accident like we did, just use anything with a rounded handle to get a similar effect.
We filled the cupcakes, piping into the smaller holes and spooning into the bigger ones, and let those set as we made the frosting. Now, the recipe asks for frozen raspberries that are thawed ... but isn't that just regular raspberries? Only maybe colder? We thought so, so we just used real raspberries and we didn't chop them up because, well, it's unnecessary.
**Another tip for you dear readers: don't make a cream cheese based frosting and leave it on top of a running dishwasher ... another learn from experience thing ... but hey it turned out alright, if a little runny. If this happens to you ... well it likely won't, but if you DO find the frosting a little runny for your liking, just add in a little more powdered sugar until it stiffens up enough for you**
When the cupcakes were assembled, we left them in the fridge to cool, and it took everything in me not to rip open that fridge door and stuff one into my mouth, but I refrained (somehow). But when it was time to taste these babies ... oh boy. Creamy sweet frosting with the raspberries cutting through, beautifully textured cake with just-melted white chocolate chips, and that filling ... oooooh that filling. You'll have to try it for yourself to know what I'm talking about, and trust me, this you do NOT want to miss out on.
Special thanks to my aunt for joining me in baking these cupcakes and the virtual destruction of her kitchen in the process.
Happy Baking everyone!
White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes:
For the Cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup raspberry liqueur
½ cup white chocolate chips
For the Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ frozen raspberries, thawed and chopped
8 ounce brick cream cheese
1/8 cup white chocolate cream liqueur (Godiva)
1/8 cup cream
1/3 cup melted white chocolate chips
1/3 cup vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners. Set aside
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
3. Combine the eggs, butter, liqueur, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium speed and blend for 2-3 minutes, or until light and creamy. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add the flour mixture, blending just until combined
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cups. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.
5. For the filling, beat the cream cheese, white chocolate cream liqueur and cream at medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave until melted, stirring at 30 second intervals to avoid burning (burnt chocolate? ew). Once melted, add with vanilla until combined.
6. When cupcakes are still warm, use a cupcake corer (if you have one) or a rounded-bottomed appliance to hollow out the centre of each cupcake. Let cool for a little longer. When cool to the touch, (depending on the size of your holes) either pipe or spoon (I did both to show the difference) the filling into the holes. Then you're ready for the frosting!
7. For the frosting, use the mixer on medium-high speed to beat the cream cheese and butter until well mixed. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and add the chopped raspberries
6. When the cupcakes are cool, decorate them with frosting, and garnish with a raspberry