Christmas arrived early this year along with these cupcakes.
Don’t you think they look festive with its contrasting soft cream and ruby red colour?
Its flavour is redolent of everything that is Christmas; you can taste Christmas in a single bite. White chocolate…red currants…and cake!
I stumbled upon some fresh red currants at the supermarket and I just bought them feeling excited yet not knowing what I would do with them.
Since I always associated white chocolate with red currants, I decided to go with these cupcakes. I like the extreme tartness of red currants (yes, I have an unusually high tolerance for all things sour) but others might not think so. The sweetness of the white chocolate balance off the sourness of the red currants.
I always believe in using quality chocolate especially when you are making a simple chocolate dessert – like a chocolate cake or chocolate mousse. There is no place where bad chocolate can hide. I think this is even more so in the case of white chocolate.
I know some people would say that they don’t like white chocolate because it is too sweet. It is true even for myself; white chocolate would not be my first choice if you ask me to pick a chocolate.
Nevertheless, I find that it works beautifully in baking like in this cream cheese and mascarpone frosting or a white chocolate ganache with raspberries.
While white chocolate does not have cacao mass like milk or dark chocolate, it is made with cocoa butter (a derivative from making cocoa powder) which makes it extremely creamy and melt in the mouth. A good white chocolate should contain a good amount of cocoa butter without addition of other fats like palm oil. I like to use Valrhona Ivoire which contains 35% of cocoa butter.
Now for these cupcakes, I use Magnolia bakery’s vanilla cupcake recipe but adapted it slightly. I have added the scrapped seeds from half a vanilla bean for that extra bit of luscious vanilla.
Now, if are wishing and hoping for Christmas to come a tad sooner, why not make a batch of these cupcakes? You can have your little own Christmas in September…
Recipe: Vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese and mascarpone frosting
Makes 12 regular cupcakes
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery cupcakes
110g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
170g caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped (optional)
118ml full cream milk
155g all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Start by creaming the butter with a paddle attachment at medium speed until smooth. Add in the caster sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, as well as the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Add in the scrapped vanilla bean seeds, if using.
4. Add in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the dry ingredients. With each addition, beat at low speed until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the batter in the bowl every once in a while to make sure that the ingredients are well-combined.
5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners filling them about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes in a 170 degrees celcius oven. The cupcakes should be golden brown and it should spring back to touch, or until a cake tester inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 10-15 minutes before removing them onto a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.
White chocolate cream cheese and mascarpone frosting
Enough to frost 12 cupcakes
125g cream cheese, room temperature
50g mascarpone cheese, room temperature
90g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
40g icing/confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
65g white chocolate, chopped (I use valrhona Ivoire 35% white chocolate)
1. To make the frosting, begin by melting the white chocolate. You can do this over a bain marie (over a pot of simmering water) or in the microwave. If you are using the microwave, please be very careful. Do this in 5-10 second intervals, stirring after every interval until it has melted. Be careful not to overheat it as it will become grainy and unusable. White chocolate burns quickly than milk or dark chocolate!
2. Beat the cream cheese with a paddle attachment until soft and creamy on medium speed. Then add in the mascarpone cheese and butter and cream till well-incoporated.
3. Add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract and beat at low speed until combined.
4. Add in the melted white chocolate, slightly cooled and mix until well-combined.
5. Fill the frosting in a piping bag with a piping tip (I used a closed star tip and wilton 1M) to pipe my cupcakes. Top the cupcakes with a stalk of red currants.
*Storage: Keep these cupcakes in the refrigerator once they are frosted. Bring them to room temperature before serving. They can be kept for a few days but of course, they taste the best once they are made.