Friday, December 28, 2012

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

     I've been on a bit of a blog hiatus. I have been very busy adjusting to having two kiddos and finding time to workout too. I may have also been a little afraid. As a food blogger, I have always felt the need to try interesting and not always healthy recipes. My goal was always to try at least two new recipes each week and write about them. In my effort to finally lose the baby weight I never lost after number one, I decided it was more important to focus on my health. It worked; I'm down 26 pounds, and I'm still not done!  I'm beginning to figure out that it's not about having a very strict diet. There are lots of skinny people who can eat pizza and cake. It's about finding moderation...and for me, keeping track of calories has really helped. I had no idea that some foods had so many calories, especially when you go out to eat! You think you are ordering something decent, only to find that your salad or omelet has 1200 calories!
     That being said, this recipe is obviously a bit of a splurge. It's the Holidays, right? I've been to the gym nearly everyday, so I can splurge at this time of year. That is where the moderation comes in. Workout to eat a cupcake once in a while. If you deprive yourself of the things you love, you'll never stick to your plan. I like cupcakes, so when a birthday comes up, I will enjoy it...then I will work my butt off (literally) at the gym the next day.
     Now, these cupcakes were maybe my favorite cupcakes I've ever made. I was inspired by a new cupcake shop in town that sells filled cupcakes. This lady comes up with the greatest combinations. I searched the internet, and found this recipe and knew it would be just what we needed. These were made for a going away get-together for our dear friends who moved to Louisiana. I think they would also be great for a New Year's party. There were perfectly moist and the flavor was light and refreshing. The white chocolate in the cake batter really set them apart from just a regular white cupcake. I used Godiva white chocolate squares if you are curious. An added bonus is that they look fancy when topped with a raspberry!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

by Robin
Prep Time: 30-60 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (15-18 cupcakes)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberry filling (seedless raspberry jam works too)
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the white chocolate to a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between each interval, until melted and smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the white chocolate and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and milk (in 2 additions), starting and ending with the flour. Beat just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan to cool completely.
For Filling:
Add the raspberries to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan to remove the seeds (this takes a few minutes, just be patient and keep using a rubber spatula to push it through). Add the sugar and cornstarch to the pan, whisking to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking often. When it reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Chill before filling cupcakes.
For Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and raspberry filling on medium speed until completely incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the confectioners' sugar (I like to sift as I add to avoid lumps), one cup at a time and beat until you reach your desired consistency.
To assemble the cupcakes: Use a paring knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake. Place a few teaspoons of the raspberry filling inside. Cut the tip of the cone off and replace it on top of the cupcake. Place the raspberry buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with your preferred tip, and frost the cupcakes. Garnish with fresh raspberries if desired.
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