White Chocolate and Macadamia Cupcakes

March 24, 2012

Blondie Cupcakes

 

Saved By Cake: over 80 Ways to Bake Yourself Happy is the intriguing name of the cookbook, penned by bestselling fiction writer Marian Keyes, which inspired this recipe. Now, normally 99.9% of PR emails get filed ever-so-carefully in the Do Not Want bin; however, the motivation behind her baking caught my attention and resonated with me. Being avid bakers, maybe some of you will relate as well.

Marian Keyes opens with a very frank, honest account of her daily fight with depression. Trying to get through each day she eventually found that baking augmented therapy, with the right balance of distraction, relaxation and delicious reward of course. The book is a collection of fairly straight-forward recipes she used to “bake herself happy”, with chapters on the classics, cupcakes, cheesecakes, biscuits & cookies and pastry.

Keyes has a wicked, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour and writes like a cheeky Nigella, if Nigella stopped trying so hard and dropped the overwrought affectations. Recipe directions are not barked at you. Instead, you are gently and humourously walked through the steps as if she is in the kitchen with you sharing the experience, warts and all. Case in note:

“However! Yes, I’m afraid there is a however – for every credit there is a debit – and the downside of using glasses is that the mousse spills down the sides of the glasses, both inside and outside, and the mess has to be cleared up. Amigos, I spent hours, and the best part of an entire roll of kitchen paper, carefully wiping the glasses so that they would be fit to present to my expected guests. (Actually, I had no expected guests. I live in an imaginary world and I planned to eat all four mousses myself.)”

Even if you don’t bake a thing from the book (Gold Medal in Discipline for you, given all the glossy make-you-salivate photos included) just reading the recipes is a worthwhile exercise in hilarity.

If you’re a pedant the small section referring to Macaroons instead of Macarons might make your eye-twitch. And if you’re a purist the sight of the “bockety funny-shaped” shells, might make your head explode. I would look to other cookbooks such as Zumbo if you’re keen on getting into the world of Macaron making.

All the fabulous writing and sexy photos in the world are worth nothing if the recipes do not deliver. So I chose the Blondie Cupcakes, which are white chocolate and macadamia flavoured on page 59 to road-test, on the promise of “serve and watch the initially unimpressed faces of your guests transform into expressions of admiration and respect”.

The verdict on the White Chocolate and Macadamia Cupcakes is success! I would possibly categorise these as muffins over cupcakes, as the quantity of melted white chocolate makes the crumb quite dense and heavy rather than a fluffy sponge. The batter is a gorgeous caramel colour, and smells so heavenly when baking. Rather than use more cooking chocolate, I swapped 100g of white cooking chocolate for those ‘bits’ that do not melt, which meant lovely little pockets of white chocolate throughout the cupcakes.

My taste-tester was initially wary of their weight when she picked-up one to try, however, she was won over with the flavour so I guess Marian was right! Best eaten the same day, or within a day or two at most.

The link to the cookbook is below. If you’re not aware, I have a charity programme where 100% of all sales commission is donated. In honour of the cookbook’s origins, this round of donations will be going to Beyond Blue, Australia’s Depression and Anxiety organisation. I’ll also be adding the value of Saved By Cake as a personal donation in lieu of receiving a free copy. If you’d like to support, please follow the links, or check-out the other books i’ve hand chosen on the Bookshelf.

Happy Baking!

 Saved By Cake: $21.18 AUD, free shipping, from The Book Depository UK

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE & MACADAMIA CUPCAKE RECIPE

Makes 12 – 16 cupcakes

You Will Need:

100g Unsalted Butter, roughly diced
180g White Chocolate, roughly chopped (cooking chocolate is fine)
100g White Chocolate Bits, the non-melting ones
100g Unsalted Macadamia Nuts, roughly chopped
3 Large Eggs
100g Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
180g Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 pinch of Salt

 

Directions (Video Tutorial at the bottom):

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 325F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with patty cases.

In a medium saucepan slowly melt the butter and chopped white chocolate on LOW heat. Stir constantly and keep an eye on it so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and brown sugar until thick, pale and fluffy. You can use a hand whisk or stand-mixer, depending on your muscles. When thickened, add the vanilla extract and the combined melted butter-chocolate mixture.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the batter, folding it through gently with a spatula until almost mixed together. Pour in the chopped macadamia nuts and white chocolate bits, mixing them through gently until evenly distributed through the batter.

Dollop a generously heaped tablespoon of batter into each patty case, maybe more depending on desired size. They don’t rise too much in the oven so you could almost fill the cases to the top without too much drama. Bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes. They are done when the domes go golden brown in colour and the tops spring back when gently pressed. Let them cool briefly in the tray, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

And the Video Tutorial!

 

White Chocolate and Macadamia Cupcakes
Print
Recipe type: Baking
Author: The Cake Mistress
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 12
Easy recipe for white chocolate and macadamia cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, roughly diced
  • 180g White Chocolate, roughly chopped (cooking chocolate is fine)
  • 100g White Chocolate Bits, the non-melting ones
  • 100g Unsalted Macadamia Nuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 100g Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 180g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch of Salt
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 325F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with patty cases.
  2. In a medium saucepan slowly melt the butter and chopped white chocolate on LOW heat. Stir constantly and keep an eye on it so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and brown sugar until thick, pale and fluffy. You can use a hand whisk or stand-mixer, depending on your muscles. When thickened, add the vanilla extract and the combined melted butter-chocolate mixture.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the batter, folding it through gently with a spatula until almost mixed together. Pour in the chopped macadamia nuts and white chocolate bits, mixing them through gently until evenly distributed through the batter.
  5. Dollop a generously heaped tablespoon of batter into each patty case, maybe more depending on desired size. They don’t rise too much in the oven so you could almost fill the cases to the top without too much drama. Bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes. They are done when the domes go golden brown in colour and the tops spring back when gently pressed. Let them cool briefly in the tray, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • http://bite-sized-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Kari

    I saw that book in a book store just last week, and liked the look of it at first glance…I’m now quite keen on glancing further!

  • http://www.lifeisdi-licious.com/ Di @ Life is Di-licious

    What a great review! I looked at the book the other day read the intro but had to put it down when my daughter announced that she needed to go to the toilet, NOW! 

    I will definitely go back and have another look.

    There’s lots of ‘fancy pants’ baking books out there which cover off on the technical aspects of baking (and I love them), but an honest, home-style baking book is always welcome on my shelf, right next to Merle!
    Di x

    PS: Love the video tutorial. I was tapping my foot along to the music – that’s the kind of music I like to bake to too!

  • http://asplashofvanilla.com/ Emma

    I just read about this book in the age and thought it a wonderful idea.  Great post.  Baking has lifted my spirits many a time.

    Oh and gorgeous little cakes as well, white chocolate and macadamia nuts is always a winning combo.

  • http://twitter.com/DaisyNTSFM Daisy

    I haven’t seen this book before :) but it looks great! I think its great that you’re donating all all sales commissions to Beyond Blue :( I have a close friend who’s suffered from depression for a very long time…definitely going to buy the cook and do what I can to help! 

    Love love love your video tutorials ~ Makes it even easier for someone who’s less talented to follow the recipe and replicate these yummy cupcakes! 

  • http://boredomaboundsbyjulia.blogspot.com/ Julia @ Boredom Abounds

    I just saw this book for the first time on Friday – glad to know it’s an entertaining and useful cookbook!

  • http://www.deliveryhero.com.au/food-delivery/italian/ Tira Misu

    I can totally understand that Marian Keyes finds baking therapeutic. I find baking and cooking to be a great way to reduce anxiety and be creative everyday. Great review of the book, I’ll have to go pick one up. Oh and the cupcakes look amazing! Easy to find motivation for baking with delicious pictures :)

  • Santy

    Wow, I can’t help drooling. I just love the White Chocolate and Macadamia Cupcakes

    Well done! 

    If you submitted your White Chocolate and Macadamia Cupcakes photos to http://www.foodporn.net , I’ll bet they will make you on the home page. 

    Gosh, you have made me sooo hungry !

  • The Food Mentalist

    I lovew this book and have it here at home. I recently made my first cake from it ( blog post coming soon :) ) and I just adore it.

    Thanks for the post x

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