White Mocha Cupcakes
It’s been a frustrating week. I’m just going to vent a little if you don’t mind 🙂 It started last week with a throat so swollen I couldn’t swallow and all the fun aches and pains that go along with it. I should have been resting but instead I od’d on advil and kept on moving. I mean, it’s December people, there is very little time for sitting let alone sleeping! I managed quite well and felt quite prepared to tackle this week head on. Then Sunday came. My poor baby Gabe was sick again 😦 Monday and Tuesday brought one long migraine, a very messy house, several failed attempts at trying to bake, a broken electric hand mixer and cupcakes that were almost thrown out. By Wednesday, my to-do list had flown out the window.
But then I had a small moment of clarity. I had been working on a completely different dessert that just wasn’t working (it needs some migraine-free working time!). In the process I had made up these white mocha cupcakes. They were based off my coconut cupcake recipe omitting the coconut and replacing the coconut milk with Ghiradelli’s white mocha hot cocoa (all made up with milk). They weren’t bad, they were moist, had some flavor but needed a little more. They weren’t really working for what I originally intended. I was about to toss them when I remembered an easy frosting I used to make for brownies. I’ll skip the next few hours of non-thickening frosting for you but it all worked out to these absolutely delicious white mocha cupcakes! I like these, because unlike a lot of other white mocha recipes, these cupcakes are actually white. The cupcake base is not overly sweet and has subtle hints of white mocha hot cocoa. The frosting is a bittersweet chocolate base thickened with evaporated milk and then beat into whipping cream to create a light, chocolate-y topping that perfectly complements the mocha cupcake. The downfall is that I don’t know how available Ghiradelli’s white mocha cocoa is so I may work on this some more with ingredients that everyone can find, but for now, the cupcakes were saved! and quite yummy 🙂
White Mocha Cupcakes
Yields 16-18 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 heaping tablespoon ghiradelli’s white mocha cocoa mix
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove top until steaming. Stir in the cocoa mix and set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, or standing mixer, cream the butter. Add 1 cup sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the cocoa milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until combined, scraping sides of the bowl periodically. Set aside. (If using your standing mixer, transfer batter to another bowl-you’ll need your standing mixer for the egg whites.)
4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with a heaping 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then reinvert and let cool completely, top sides up.
6. For the frosting: Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 70% power or in a double boiler. Pour the evaporated milk in a medium mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture thickens and lightens to the color of mocha (it starts as very dark chocolate), about 5 minutes.
7. In another large mixing bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks on high speed. Add the thickened chocolate and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Frost the cupcakes immediately and serve shortly after as well.