A slightly fruity cupcake with a silky smooth white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
I made these cupcakes with the intention of sharing them for Valentine’s Day, but they never ended up making the cut. I was just too inundated with work to edit the pictures and type out the blog post – better late than never though !
These cupcakes have a fruity flavour as a result of the strawberry jam and fresh chopped strawberries in them. Finding the correct balance of fruit to add is important, as too much fruit and the cupcake can become too heavy.
The real star of this show however, is the white chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The buttercream is light, silky and so smooth. I know that most Swiss Meringue buttercreams call for unsalted butter, but I found that with the inclusion of the white chocolate, using salted butter provides some balance to the overall sweetness. You could obviously use unsalted butter and then add salt to taste, as an alternative option.
As usual, using the best quality of white chocolate makes all the difference. I use a chocolate with a cocoa butter content of around 30%, this ensure a smooth and silky finish without being cloyingly sweet.
- 70g salted butter, room temperature
- 25ml flavourless vegetable oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- 140g caster sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
- 170g cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 140ml milk
- 40g roughly chopped fresh strawberries
- 8 whole strawberries for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a 12 cup cupcake tin with paper lines and set aside.
- Sift the cake flour and baking powder and set aside, to form your dry ingredients.
- Cream the butter, oil sugar and lemon zest until well combined, about four minutes.
- Add in the egg whites and beat one at a time, until adding in the next one.
- Add in the strawberry jam and vanilla essence and mix through.
- Add half the flour, followed by half the milk. Then the remaining dry ingredients and milk.
- Divide the batter into the tin, and sprinkle the strawberries on the top.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Set aside to cool completely before frosting.
- Remove the green tips of the strawberries, place the flat edge of the strawberry on a chopping board and slice down the full length of the strawberry. Add three of these slices to the iced cupcakes as decorations.
WHITE CHOCOLATE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 100g good quality white chocolate
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 330g salted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2cm cubes*
*I use salted butter, as I like the balance the salt adds. If you prefer to control the amount of salt, use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Melt the chocolate and oil in a microwave, in short 20 second bursts, and set aside to cool.
- Set a pot of simmering water onto the stove, on medium heat. Place a bowl over the pot of water, to create a bain marie. Place the sugar and egg whites in the bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved into the egg white. Do not vigorously mix the mixture, as we do not want to aerate it too much. If you run a bit of the mixture between your forefinger and thumb, there should be no sugar granules.
- Transfer the sugar and egg mixture to your stand mixer (you can use an electric hand beater too) and whip for a good 10 minutes, until a glossy meringue has formed and the sides of the bowl have cooled down.
- Slowly add in the butter, a few cubes at a time. Let incorporate fully, before adding more.
- Pour in the cooled, melted chocolate and beat until a smooth buttercream is achieved. Do not overmix this.
- Fit a piping bag with an open star nozzle and pipe generous swirls of buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes.
- Decorate with the the strawberry slices.
Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com