I am actually quite a busy person. Honest.
But despite all the other things I probably should have been doing, and despite having already entered two different cupcakes into this month's Cupcake Hero competition, I nevertheless got very excited when I found out what the theme ingredient is for this month's Cupcake Mystery Box over at Sweetest Kitchen.
It's white chocolate. Oh, yum. And I had some in the cupboard.
I also have a rhubarb plant in my garden, valiantly soldiering on through the Winter months with a few spindly reddish stalks (I was worried until I looked at a gardening website. Now I'm just hanging out for Spring).
It was destiny.
Now I have your attention, right?
This baby is a white chocolate & rhubarb almond cupcake, topped with a to-die-for white chocolate cream cheese frosting. And sticky rhubarb.
To make these cupcakes, I made some fairly major alterations to a Delia Smith recipe (from "The Delia Collection: Chocolate" book), and ended up with this:-
White Chocolate Rhubarb Cupcakes
100g fresh rhubarb stalks **see note below**
75g white chocolate, coarsely grated
75g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
55g ground almonds
85g self raising flour
First, chop rhubarb finely and cook it on its own in a small saucepan over a low heat until soft. Basically you want rhubarb mush; it should only take about five minutes. Set aside to cool.
Next, cream the butter and sugar. Add egg yolks gradually (about a teaspoonful at a time), beating well until all incorporated. Beat in the stewed rhubarb until combined. Fold in ground almonds, chocolate, and milk. Sift the flour and gently fold it in.
In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, then fold these very gently into the mixture.
Spoon mixture into cupcake papers - fill about 2/3 full if you're feeling timid, otherwise to 3/4 full - they will rise alarmingly in the oven at first, but will subside a little. Mine didn't overflow, although they looked as though they were heading that way for a while...
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 15 - 20 minutes, or until they test clean.
**NB: I actually used 65g in my cupcake batter, but couldn't taste it in the end result. Two options here: turf it completely (it really isn't necessary, the cuppie is beautiful as is), or increase the amount. I plan to try it with 100g next time.**
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
135g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
75g white chocolate
Melt the white chocolate. Beat the cheese and butter until smooth. Add sifted icing sugar; beat until fluffy. Add melted chocolate and beat until all combined. Try very hard not to eat it all.
Combine 100g rhubarb with 35g caster sugar in a colander over a bowl, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Then put the rhubarb and the drained liquid into a small saucepan and cook gently until rhubarb is soft. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice (to taste). Cool completely before using on cupcakes.
Assemble cupcakes as follows: cupcake, frosting, rhubarb, optional white chocolate curl.
What surprised me about these is their texture - they're actually quite light and fluffy. With all that almond meal and white chocolate, I was expecting something fairly heavy - until I was filling the cupcake cases, at which point I was all like, this mixture weighs nothing! And sure enough, I have just proved to myself that there is in fact room in the world for baked goods that are not massively rich and squidgy. As long as they taste as good as this.
Now what are you waiting for?? Head on over to Sweetest Kitchen and check out the roundup of sweet white chocolatey goodness - or at any rate, do that after the 21st August.
And don't forget to vote for your favourite!
For that matter - there's still time to enter! Check out the incentives:
The winner of August’s Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge will receive prizes from:
- Bake It Pretty; $5 electronic gift card
- Beanilla; 3 Indian + 3 Tahitian vanilla beans & a jar of Ground Vanilla
- CT2Designs; a cupcake ring
- Miss Kitty Creations; a cupcake charm of your choice
- Sweet Cuppin Cakes; a prize pack worth $25
Thank you to all our prize sponsors!