July 11, 2009

The Cupcake Challenge: White Chocolate Mud with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

white chocolate mud cupcakes with blackberry buttercream frosting 2

Since visiting the Crabapple cupcake bakery in South Yarra I've wanted to bake my own White chocolate mud cupcakes. I knew that Jennifer Graham had written a cupcake cookbook with all of Crabapple's famous recipes, but true to my style, I couldn't be bothered going out and purchasing the book. I know, I'm terrible, But I'm sure this book will join my collection sooner or later. I happened to come across Katie's Kitchen Blog and found that like me she loves to bake cupcakes. A little digging found the Crabapple cupcake recipe.

white chocolate mud cupcakes with blackberry buttercream frosting 1

The cup cakes are actually called Lady Tarryn’s wedding cakes, what a quaint little name. To be honest when I first tried these from the bakery I wasn't so impressed. They seemed a little dry and tasted a little old. But I've heard that Crabapple doesn't have the best reputation going around. I still enjoyed them enough to seek out the recipe.

white chocolate mud cupcakes with blackberry buttercream frosting 4

So here's the recipe, courtesy of Katie's Kitchen Blog

Lady Tarryn’s wedding cakes
4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
500 g/1.1 lbs butter, chopped
2 cups milk
4 cups Castor sugar
300 g/10 oz white chocolate, chopped
4 eggs, whisked
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 155 c/310 F. Lightly grease 20 dariole moulds.

Sift flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Set aside.

Put butter, milk, Castor sugar and white chocolate into a metal bowl and place over a large saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously using a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until chocolate has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Use a rubber spatula to fold the eggs and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture. Pour this mixture into the well in the flour and fold together until well combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between the dariole moulds. Bake for 30 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Place moulds on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. Allow to cool for a further 30 minutes before frosting.

To frost them I thought blackberries would go perfectly with the white chocolate. So I made a blackberry puree and made a buttercream frosting from there. Here's the recipe.

Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

1 punnet (150gram) Blackberries
25 gram Castor sugar
200mL water
250gram butter (cut into cubes and at room temperature)
3-4cups of icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons of milk

1. In a small saucepan, add the water, Castor sugar and blackberries. Over a low heat cook blackberries until they are soft and the most of the water has evaporated, about 45minutes. Cool completely

2. Strain mixture through a fine sieve. making sure the extract as much liquid as possible. The more puree you can push through the sieve the better. I like to add the skins and pips to the puree as well, but if you want a perfectly smooth frosting then discard them. If you have added the skins and pips to the puree, you will no be able to pipe the frosting onto your cupcake.

Blackberry puree for whitechocolate mud cupcakes

3. Beat butter with and electric mixer on high until it is very pale and fluffy. Add blackberry puree and beat until combined.

4. Add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating for at least 1 minute between cups, until you reach the consistency and sweetness you desire. I like mine not too sweet so usually 3 cups are enough. Beat until very fluffy, usually 5-6 minutes

5. At the very end add 2 tablespoons of very hot milk to the frosting, while beating on high. Beat mixture for 2-3 minutes. Frost your cupcakes!

whitechocolate mud cupcakes ready to be frosted

I've actually made this recipe twice, the first time I made a half batch and true to my style again, I cut down on the sugar and butter. About 1 cup less sugar for the full recipe and about 100grams less butter. They turned out perfect, not too sweet and not too buttery. But the second time, I thought I would be brave and use the whole lot. It was WAAAYYYY too much butter. When I took my cupcakes out of the muffin tin, the bottoms were swimming in butter. The next day, Daz said he couldnt taste the white chocolate anymore and could only taste butter! So I would suggest cutting down on the butter. I will definately make these again, but with the slight changes.

I've been meaning to have a little play with rolled sugar paste for a while, and never really had an excuse to use it before. The first time I made these I decorated them with cute but simple fondant flowers. I thought this would be a perfect topper again, and they are really dead simple to make. So here is a simple step by step on how to make them.

You'll need a couple of things before starting:
Fondant, you can by this in the supermarket, Orchard makes some
Petal cutters, these are miniature cookie cutters or you can buy special fondant cutters
rolling pin
sugar glue, I make this by boiling together equal part sugar and water in the microwave. About 40ml will be more than enough

Step 1. Take a small ball of fondant, about the size of a squash ball and knead it until it is smooth and soft. Dust your worksurface or a piece of baking paper with cornflour, you can use icing sugar but cornflour is best. Roll your fondant out until it is fairly thin, about 2-3 mm thick.

petal cutter for fondant flowers
Step 2. Take your petal cutter, and making sure that it is dusted well with cornflour cut petals from your fondant
fondant petal for flowers
Once you have cut enough petals to make the flowers, cover them with a bowl or some gladwrap, that way they don't dry out

making the fondant flower center
Step 3. To make the centers of the flowers, take a small pinch of the fondant and roll it into a small ball between your fingers. While rolling, pinch the end so that it forms a tear drop

fondant flower centers
Try to make all your centers roughly the same size. Difficult....I know! Make enough centers to make all your flowers, then leave them out in the open. I find them easier to work with if they are a little dry.

putting together the fondant flowers step 1
Step 4. Take 3 petals and a center and begin the assemble. Using a toothpick, place a tiny drop of sugar glue on the end of the petal. Then stick the center to the petal. Wait at least 30 seconds to move onto the next step. I try to set a whole heap up so I have a mini production line

putting together the fondant flowers step 2
Step 5. Place a small drop of glue on your second petal and stick the center/petal combo onto this. Repeat for the last petal

putting together the fondant flowers step 3

simple fondant flower
And viola! Flower is made, simple huh? leave them to dry upside down for about 2 hours. That way they are nice and firm and easy to stick into your frosting.

fondant flowers

The Cupcakes were a huge hit. It was the first time I had given them to Daz to transport in the cupcake courier, so there were a full 36 of them! They were gobbled up quickly and thats exactly how I like it!

white chocolate mud cupcakes with blackberry buttercream frosting 3


Stephcookie said...

The little white flowers are so cute! I'm too clumsy with delicate things like that. And the colour of the blackberry frosting looks great, it goes so well with the light cake and flowers :) i want one!

Conor said...

Beautiful! I really love your presentation.

I have the crabapple cookbook and although I've only made a few, so far the big hit (requested from friends multiple times) has been the Church Picnic Carrot Cupcakes.

Here's the recipe if you're interested!

By the way, I'm so jealous of your cupcake carrier. It is on my list of kitchenware-I-desire..

Agnes said...

Gorgeous and delicious looking, as always. :) Cute little flowers! Gosh, I wonder if I'll ever have the patience to deal with fondant?

panda said...

i gave in and got the crabapple bakery cookbook - so far have only cooked the one recipe but it was delicious! and it's great flicking through the pages of the book - everything is so pretty.

great work with the flowers and these cupcakes look delicious!

Rilsta said...

How do you get your cupcake tops so flat?! Mine always come out a dome shape - it's probably my oven!

The colour of the frosting looks beautiful and I love how you have put the flowers off centre.

Good to see Beryl got out of the house!! :)

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Steph - I'm pretty clumsy too, infact I swear I have three thumbs instead of two! These are so easy that it doesnt matter how clumsy you are, if I can make em!

Hi Conor - You should get one! They are on special right now!

Hi Agnes - Just do it Agnes! I was afraid too. I thought its probably so fiddly that everything I do will turn out crap. But its not. I actually find it really relaxing!

Hi Panda - I should really buy a copy for myself. I'm sure that I would bake heaps of recipes from there.

Hi Rilsta - Try experimenting with your oven. It might not be because its too hot. Your thermostat might be out. It might be an idea to purchase a thermometer for your oven to check that the temperature is right. Also try baking it on the second shelf or move the first shelf to the very center of the oven. It might be a little too hot at the very top. Also, try knocking the temperature down a little and baking for longer. That way the cake might rise a little more evenly. Its all experimentation. Sometimes the recipe has alot to do with it. Sponge cake recipes are more likely to create a large dome. Sorry I'm waffling on a bit here. Hope that helps!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I love the way you've made your own flowers! You've worked out all the tricks with drying them too. They look really cute against the blackberry icing.

Conor said...

I just heard about the RSPCA Cupcake Day and thought you might be interested if you didn't already know about it? Good excuse to make some more cupcakes :D