What is it about cupcakes? Why do they bring such joy? Is it their adorable, miniature size? Is it the indulgence of having an entire "cake" to yourself? Is it the wonderful dilemma of deciding to eat frosting first, or frosting and cake together? Whatever it is, it's working. Cupcakes always make me smile. And these cupcakes I'm sharing today are unbelievably flavorful, light and spongey, with just a hint of mint and a decadent white chocolate frosting. The batter includes a meringue that gives them a delectable airy quality. You're going to go ga-ga for these at first bite. They're perfect for your upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Minty Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting1/2 cup boiling water 1/2 cup cocoa 1/4 cup butter, sliced into pats 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon mint extract 4 large eggs, separated and divided 1 1/4 cups sugar 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 3/4 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Cupcake Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, add cocoa to boiling water. Mix until smooth, then add sliced butter, vanilla, and mint extract, stirring until butter has completely melted and mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, stir the 4 egg yolks with a fork until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar, the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir well and set aside. To make the meringue, add the 4 egg whites to a clean, dry glass or metal bowl. Add the cream of tartar and beat with a mixer on high speed for one minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue whipping on high for another minute. Slowly add in the remaining sugar until soft peaks develop, an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and egg yolks into the dry ingredients, stirring until well combined. Add 1/2 cup of the meringue to the batter and incorporate to soften and lighten the batter. Gently fold in the remaining meringue into the batter with a bowl scraper or spatula. Continue folding until the batter is a uniform, light brown color. Spoon the batter into lined cupcake tins, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes and allow to cool completely on a rack. Frost cupcakes and serve immediately, or chill until serving. White Chocolate Frosting 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped for garnish (optional) Directions Place chopped white chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until just boiling, stirring occasionally. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated. Transfer mixture to the refrigerator to cool for 3-4 hours, or until very cold. Whip cooled mixture on medium speed until thick, stiff peaks form. Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with chopped pistachios.