Our 3 years back in the US have been great, but it’s time to settle down and raise our kids in one spot. As hard as it is to leave your family behind, it’s something that happens every day; kids grow up and leave their families behind to start their own life.
I’m leaving my family behind here in Indiana and moving to Sydney, Australia this weekend. I have lived in Sydney before, from 2001-2006 and it was fabulous. It’s definitely a place I feel happy spending my life in. I know my kids will love it as well.
This will be my last post from the US; expect all future posts to be from Australia and upside down!
Anyway, a friend of mine requested one last batch of cupcakes from me before we left. She wanted cookie dough cupcakes and chocolate/white chocolate cupcakes. Of course I’ve done cookie dough cupcakes before, so I won’t post about them again, but I made the chocolate/white chocolate cupcakes into white chocolate mocha cupcakes. I was inspired to do this because my friend is a big fan of Starbucks’ white chocolate mochas. These were the last cupcakes I made in the US.
I know, the photos aren’t that great because it was late afternoon and there wasn’t enough natural light from the sun so I didn’t even bother with my usual set up.
These are chocolate cupcakes, filled with chocolate coffee ganache and frosted with white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC). I’m really proud of these because while most mocha cupcakes have coffee in the cake where it cannot be tasted, I put my coffee into the ganache and the coffee flavor is quite prominent. This isn’t just any chocolate coffee ganache, by the way. It was made using the brand new Starbucks VIA Italian Roast instant coffee.
The white chocolate really came through in the SMBC, as well. SMBC is always an extra effort to make, but the results are so rewarding. The texture was silky smooth and full of white chocolate flavor.
My main point of this post is to share the coffee ganache tip with you. If you want coffee flavor in your cupcakes, don’t put the coffee in the cake (or well, you can, just be aware that the taste isn’t going to be very noticeable) – fill the cupcakes with coffee-flavored ganache!
If you’d like to try the ultimate white chocolate cupcake, the recipes are below. Just choose your own favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (mine is Hershey’s or Martha’s Devil’s food cupcakes) and follow these recipes.
Chocolate Coffee Ganache Filling
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes enough to fill 12 cupcakes (with a little leftover)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 packet Starbucks VIA Italian Roast
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering then empty the packet of Starbucks VIA into the cream and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and stir until combined.
White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from Whisk Kid
Makes enough to frost about 18 cupcakes
1 cup sugar
5 egg whites
18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened slightly and sliced
1/4 cup white chocolate, melted and cooled
Cook the egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved (test by rubbing some between your fingers. If it’s completely smooth, it’s done).
Pour into another bowl (a stand mixer is preferable) and whip on high speed until room temp.
Then, on a medium-slow speed, add the butter, waiting until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. The buttercream may turn into a soupy curdled mess, but I assure you it will be ok; just beat it for a few minutes longer. It’ll come together!
When the buttercream has reached the ideal consistency, add the melted and cooled white chocolate carefully. Try not to get any on the walls of the bowl as it will cool and harden there. Whip to incorporate.