One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy, but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".
It's Saturday Blog Showcase time again. Thank you to Ann for hosting this week's event. Make sure you head over to Thibeault's Table to sign up for participation and to see everyone else's creations they've discovered from fellow bloggers!
This week, I had my 4-year-old niece, Ashlynne, for a couple of days. She's a definite character - continuously asking questions and opining on everything from my dogs to President Obama (seriously!) Coming to LaLa's house (how my nieces and nephew refer to me) always seems to mean cooking and/or baking for all the little children in my life. And it was no exception this time. The first thing Ashlynne wanted to do was make cupcakes. Ann of Thibeault's Table reminded me of the white chocolate cupcakes she made not too long ago. They sounded like the perfect choice for Miss Ashlynne's cupcakes.
I melted the butter and the white chocolate, while Ashlynne stirred up the dry ingredients. On to the wet ingredients. To my surprise, Ashlynne happens to be a pro at cracking eggs without dropping any shell into the bowl. Who would have thought that a 4-year-old would be able to master a task that many adults have difficulty with?? We combined the ingredients, and using a handheld mixer, Ash made sure the batter was nice and smooth. She put the cupcake liners into the tin, and I spooned the batter into them. Now, as I may have mentioned before, I tend to be a bit cupcake-challenged. I have great difficulty in measuring out the right amount of batter for each cupcake. And this time was no different. All the cupcakes ended up with flanged tops, so a little trimming was involved before frosting them.
I used a buttercream frosting that I decided to flavor with almond instead of vanilla. It paired with the white chocolate cupcakes deliciously! I piped on the frosting and Ash sprinkled colored sugars to her heart's content. Of course, a little taste-testing was in order and my little chef was more than willing to comply. The verdict? Well, it was difficult to tell with all the cake and frosting in her mouth, but I think it was pretty positive. :D Another successful baking stint under our belts!
White Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1-2/3 cups of white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces quality white chocolate
1/2 cup water
1 cup of sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Almond Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt chocolate with butter. Stir until smooth. Add water.
Mix together flour,sugar, salt and baking soda.
Mix together sour cream, vanilla and eggs, add butter chocolate mixture and flour. Beat with either a machine mixer or hand mixer. Pour into muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, place the butter, 4 cups of the confectioners' sugar, then the milk and the almond extract. On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled. Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.