Our families were coming over to our house after brunch on Mother's Day, and I thought these would be a perfect contribution. I even got to whip out the cupcake stand that I haven't used since Ryan's first birthday party!
If you aren't a coffee drinker, fret not - you really can't taste the actual coffee. It just adds a layer of richness to the chocolate and really enhances the flavor.
(I don't know why the top right of this photo is so overexposed... pretend there isn't a chunk of picture missing, 'kay?)
These cupcakes were delicious, and I received many compliments on them - especially on the heart decorations! I don't have piping bags, so I used a sandwich baggie which worked beautifully. I do wish I had made the hole just slightly bigger for thicker outlines, but that's okay.
I also had no success at all with the icing. I'm not sure what I did wrong. The first portion of heavy cream whipped right up, but then that was it. Once I added the white chocolate/cream part, it kind of thickened a little, but no peaks. I kept the white chocolate/cream combo in the fridge, but maybe it wasn't cool enough? That's really all I could think of. So, on our way to brunch, we stopped at the grocery store for some store-bought frosting. Oh well.
So for obvious reasons, I removed the "White Chocolate" part of the title. :)
For the cupcakes:
- 5 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. brown sugar
For the whipped cream:
- 6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
- 4 oz. chocolate (I used semisweet), finely chopped
- chocolate sprinkles
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Let cool slightly. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix to form a paste and then slowly whisk in the coffee. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add the egg and vanilla mixture and beat until combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the liquid mixture, beating just until all ingredients are incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the white chocolate whipped cream, place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is almost melted, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Once the chocolate is fully melted, transfer the bowl to a counter, pour in the hot cream and let it sit for one minute. Then stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate is smooth. Let the chocolate sit until it reaches room temperature – the chocolate can’t be the least bit warm when it is added to the whipped cream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup cream only until it holds the softest peaks. With the mixer on high speed, add the white chocolate all at once and continue to beat just until the mixture holds firm peaks. Transfer the cream to a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
While the cream is setting, make the chocolate decorations. Spread a piece of wax paper on a flat work surface. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted. Allow the chocolate to cool for several minutes (I probably waited 10-15 minutes). Transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic squeeze bottle (a plastic bag with the corner cut off would also work). Carefully squeeze the melted chocolate onto the wax paper in the desired shape. Allow to set completely. Carefully peel off of the wax paper.
Frost the cupcakes with the now set white chocolate whipped cream, top with chocolate sprinkles, and garnish with chocolate decorations. Store in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature for best flavor.