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Tuesday 3 December 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: White Chocolate & Cranberry Cupcakes

Picture the scene: the table is set, the mistletoe is up, the playlist is laden with festive classics, but what is this?! Horror upon horror, the cupboard is bare of ingredients to make seasonal cakes! Wait, is that a jar of cranberry sauce lurking? Hmm...

Think that there's a condiment that's safe from being turned into a cake by Domestic Sluttery? Think AGAIN. Next week, horseradish macaroons.

You can replace the white chocolate with dark, if you so fancy. This recipe makes a nice, big batch of cupcakes to make you the darling of any office party, informal shindig, or if you just want to hide inside and eat cake and wait until all the singing reindeer and plastic elves have gone away.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cupcakes (Makes 22 small or 18 large cupcakes)
You'll need:
For the topping: 
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 220g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Grated white chocolate and dried cranberries, to decorate
For the cakes:
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g white chocolate
  • handful dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp cranberry sauce
Make it! 
The buttercream:
  1. Make sure your butter is very soft, but not melted. Using an electric whisk or spatula, beat together with the icing sugar until light and pale. 
  2. Stir in the grated chocolate and creme fraiche until combined.
  3. Set aside somewhere cool until ready to use. 
The cakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the paper cupcake cases and place in the cupcake trays.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs then add to the butter a little at a time, with a teaspoonful of flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
  4. Stir in the creme fraiche and the vanilla seeds or extract.
  5. Sift the flour into the mixture, folding in gently with a metal spoon.
  6. Grate or finely chop the chocolate and fold it into the mixture along with the cranberries. 
  7. Spoon into the paper cases, filling them 1/4 full.
  8. Place the cranberry sauce in a separate bowl and stir to loosen slightly.
  9. Place a small dollop of cranberry sauce in the centre of the half-filled cake case, then cover with more batter, filling to about 2/3 full.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  11. Place on a wire rack to cool. 
  12. When the cupcakes are completely cool, take a sharp knife and carefully cut a shallow indent out of the top of the cake (to make room for the topping!).
  13. Fill a piping bag with the buttercream and pipe onto the cupcakes, swirling on top in a circle, or use a flat knife to spread on.
  14. Decorate with grated white chocolate, dried cranberries, sparkles and festive cheer.

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