White chocolate is my favorite kind of chocolate. Good white chocolate, that is. Bad white chocolate can taste chalky or plastic, or worse yet, oily, because it’s made from inexpensive solid or hydrogenated vegetable and animal fats, and is usually white instead of the characteristic cream color of “real” white chocolate. Some people don’t consider it to be chocolate at all, even though it does indeed contain cocoa butter. White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids or theobromine like regular milk or dark chocolate. It’s amazing when combined with almonds or macadamia nuts. Maybe you knew that, or some of that… but I bet you didn’t know the origins of white chocolate…
White chocolate first appeared in Switzerland in the 1930s. It was invented by Nestlé in order to utilize excess cocoa butter. It was first popularly distributed in the USA in 1948 with the introduction of Nestlé’s Alpine White Chocolate bar, which contained white chocolate and almonds.
So this delectable little treat was sort of a mistake, or a way to “recycle” extra materials. Okay so maybe you knew that too, smarty pants. But I’ll make another bet : that you don’t know what the title of this post means! Which brings me to exactly that: Frau Marilla’s Alpenblume Weiße Schokolade Kleine Kuchen! And it’s okay, I forgive you if you don’t know what the hell that means, and I’m also going to tell you, so don’t feel bad or like you’re missing out.
This post is about White Chocolate Almond cupcakes. Since white chocolate was invented in Switzerland and the main language there is German I found it only right that I rename these cupcakes something more exciting, in German. “Alpenblume” means “Alpine”, and that’s a reference to the Alpine White Chocolate bar mentioned above that had much the same components of these cupcakes. “Weiße Schokolade” is white chocolate. And that brings me to “Kleine Kuchen” which means “small cakes.” “Frau” means “Ms.” so the entire name is Ms. Marilla’s Alpine White Chocolate Cupcakes! Ta-da! Now you speak German. Take that, Rosetta Stone.
I’ve been longing for white chocolate cupcakes in some form since I went to Mystic, CT in the fall and ate an amazing white chocolate cupcake at the Bleu Squid (which I did a little review of here). I’ve also been wanting to make almond cupcakes again, so what better way to satisfy both my cravings by making white chocolate almond cupcakes? This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes, and the frosting is plenty.
WHITE CHOCOLATE ALMOND CUPCAKES
First you get:
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ½ cup white chocolate chips, or white chocolate chunks (small)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cream butter at medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat until well mixed.
- Add two eggs, beat until smooth.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk to “quick sift” them.
- Add extracts to butter/sugar/egg mixture. Mix well.
- Then add flour mixture and beat until nice and smooth.
- Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full, and sprinkle some white chocolate chips on the tops of each. Bake until cakes are golden brown, about 20-15 minutes.
WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter, softened
- 12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.
- Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.
For all you copycats: the liners can be found here at my friend Lyns’ site, Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies. I halved the cupcake recipe and got exactly 12 cupcakes. I made about ¾ the amount of frosting, and I omitted the vanilla extract. I topped them with sliced almonds and voila! Donesky.
One note of caution: white chocolate frosting is notoriously unstable. You will have to add either shortening or more sugar to keep it stiff. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when your frosting is in puddles on top of your cakes.