Birthday Cupcakes

Firstly, I have to apologise for my absence for the past month life, unfortunately, just got in the way. I am currently juggling my professional studies in architecture, a big project on site and day to day life. It has been a struggle.

Anyway, that is enough chatter about boring stuff. Today is my brother’s birthday. So this weekend the family gathered in Manchester for a weekend full of celebration. Mum and Dad came over and we got loads of food, beer and wine in an just enjoyed one another’s company, our favourite style of celebrations.

I made cupcakes to bring to the party and it took me absolutely ages to decide what to make. Having recently made Frances Quinn’s Crunchie cake I was tempted because it was just so delicious. When my brother was young, it would have been perfect he was such a chocolate face. Unfortunately for my well laid plans he is not so much of a fan now, now he prefers fruit. Eventually after much debate and to-ing and fro-ing I settled on white chocolate and raspberry cupcakes.

The recipe is based on John Whaite’s white chocolate and raspberry cake, which I love. It is a cake that can make you feel so happy and calm no matter what. Even though it is white chocolate, which I am usually quite sceptical about, it is not too sickly sweet with the raspberries cutting through. The decoration ideas have come from Frances Quinn’s new book, Quinntessential, (which if you haven’t got it yet, it is totally fabulous and I think everyone needs it, I will save my review of it for another post). I have tweaked this recipe slightly for the ganache on top from the photos as it was a bit too runny for my liking.

These cupcakes do make beautiful birthday cupcakes but would also work for christening, baby showers or even as part of a wedding spread and you could mix up the toppings however you like.

The following may look quite long and daunting but just take it step by step and you will be fine.


White Chocolate + Raspberry Cupcakes | Makes 12

Cupcakes

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 75g white chocolate
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 raspberries

Raspberry Coulis

  • 70g Raspberries
  • 35g caster sugar

Ganache

  • 100g double cream
  • 125g white chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. First make your raspberry sauce by putting the raspberries and sugar in a pan and boil it until it has reduced by half. Then sieve the sauce to get rid of the seeds.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. Put your cases in the muffin tin and preheat your oven to 180°c.
  5. Melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of water, make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl and whatever you do do not let it boil because then the water will inevitably touch the bottom and it will be extremely difficult to save the chocolate. Once melted let it cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs and beat it, I use a handheld beater but if you have some good arm muscles (or want good arm muscles) you can do it by hand. Beat it until the mixture is really smooth and you can’t feel the grains of sugar when you rub the beater or spoon at the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Then sift in your flour bit by bit and gently fold it in. Once the flour is well incorporated pour it into equally between the cases and bake them for about 15-20 minutes.
  8. They will be ready when a skewer comes out of the cake clean. Once done but them on a wire cooling rack.
  9. Whilst the cakes are in the oven, make your ganache.
  10. Break up the chocolate into small pieces into a heatproof bowl. Put the double cream in a saucepan and heat it until it looks like it is about to simmer then pour it over the chocolate and leave it for a few seconds then stir it until it is beautifully smooth.
  11. Set it aside and let it cool, once cool pop it in the fridge. It is important to let it cool otherwise it will run everywhere like it did with me, although it will still taste delicious.
  12. After the cakes are totally cooled cut the core out using a small sharp knife (a little serrated knife would be good here). I cut about 2.5cm round by about 2.5cm deep.
  13. Pipe the cooled raspberry sauce into all the holes in the cupcakes equally before putting a raspberry in the centre.
  14. Put all the cored pieces of cupcake back on top, ensuring that the sauce doesn’t squelch out. if necessary cut the top of the core down a little bit so it doesn’t stick up too much. Don’t worry too much though as the ganache on top will hide a million sins.
  15. Get the ganache from out of the fridge and give it a good stir checking it is stiff enough. Then dollop it on top of each cupcake covering the top.

You could leave them with just the ganache on top and they will look lovely and taste delicious, but I wanted to take them a little bit further so I took a leaf out of Frances’ book and I went for a confetti type appearance.

Confetti

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Freeze dried strawberries
  • Gold Leaf [optional]

I painstakingly pulled apart the raspberries and blackberries to make it look like confetti, roughly chopped the pistachios and sliced the strawberries. Then arrange them on the cupcakes as you want to, they don’t all have to look the same, I think that is part of the charm. I also made marzipan bees from Quinntessential to add to the summer, floral ‘look’, they were easy and I think totally worth it.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the above ingredients for the confetti, mix it up. You can use different nuts and seeds, try using more dried fruits like cranberries and apples, edible flowers would look beautiful too.

If you do give these a go let me know how you get on, I would love to hear from you.

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