Monday, February 1, 2010

White Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes

What a new year we've had. From working with our new horse, to adjusting to having two people in our house again - the holidays were the least of our concerns! On the cooking front, I made cookies for everyone's Christmas presents. Judging by how few of my family members had cookies left two days later, I'm going to say there were a major success.

Recently I've been all about stews and soups and hearty stir frys. Mmm. Anything to help warm our frozen fingers and toes after we come in from the frozen barn. There's just something comforting about knowing you'll be coming home to a warm, filling meal that makes being outside for hours bearable.

But, Baby, it's cold outside, and I am craving desserts!

With all the changes going on in our household, it's been hard to keep up blogging about my cooking. But, I know. Excuses, Right? The other day I sat and though, "what's the best way to say 'I'm sorry?'"

Obviously cupcakes ...

... especially if they are covered in white chocolate and deliciously nutty cardamom and almond sprinkles. Oh man.

I'm not going to brag at all, but this recipe (and adapation of one at La Tartine Gourmande, merci!) will make anyone forgive you of anything - to a point, of course! The deliciously moist cake portion is just sweet enough without making your teeth ache, but then you hit the frosting. And, let me tell you, I don't even like frosting, but this frosting makes me beg for more. It's nutty cardamom laced flavor cuts through the buttery texture, and the almonds add the satisfying crunch that makes them even more addicting!

Now, get out there and make these cupcakes. It's 2010, and you need to celebrate!

White Chocolate Cardamom Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

What You'll Need:

1 tin of muffin molds
12 Paper cups to line tin


For cupcake-
1/2 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour

3/4 cup whole wheat
pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup good quality grated white chocolate
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

For icing-

1/2 cup good quality chopped white chocolate

1 tsp vanilla extract
Caramom, for sprinkling

1 handful chopped almonds (optional)

What You'll Do:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line tins with paper cups.

2. Spread almonds out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant. Allow them to cool, then chop semi-finely.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda and cardamom until well combined. Add in sugar and grated white chocolate. Continue whisking until well distributed.

4. In a smaller bowl, beat together melted butter, eggs and yogurt until lighter in color and creamy.

5. Add wet ingredients into larger bowl of flour mixture. Mix until well combined.

6. Divide mixture between muffin molds. Fill tins only 3/4 of way up cup to allow proper rising during baking.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until muffins are firm and a golden color around edges. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

To frost-

1. Melt chopped white chocolate and vanilla in a double boiler over simmering water.* Mix constantly until creamy and well broken down.

2. While warm, quickly frost cupcakes using a butter knife and spatula. Before frosting sets, sprinkle over a touch of cardamom and finish with chopped almonds.

3. Let frosting set on cupcakes and serve.

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