Strawberry Cupcakes with Caramelized White Chocolate
You're in for a delicious surprise with these strawberry cupcakes! The cake is infused with an incredible caramelized white chocolate, and then topped with a homemade strawberry-buttercream frosting. These cupcakes will make you wonder how you've lived so long without them.
Begin by roasting the chocolate. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F, and add the chocolate into a small baking dish. Place in the oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until a deep caramel color.
While the chocolate is roasting place strawberries in a small baking dish and toss with the 2 tsp sugar. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the strawberries have collapsed and are surrounded by a puddle of their delicious red juice. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F.
Place the cooled but still melted white chocolate in a bowl and add the melted butter and stir until smooth and combined.
In a the bowl of an electric mixer whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chocolate and butter mixture and whisk until well combined. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt into a separate bowl and add one third of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined. Follow with half the buttermilk and mix until combined. Add another third of the flour mixture, mixing until combined, before adding the remaining buttermilk and flour. When the mixture is thoroughly combined fill a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners and divide the mixture between the cupcake liners. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes of until the cupcakes spring back when pressed. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
To make the Italian buttercream place the sugar, golden syrup and water in a saucepan and mix until well combined. Use a pastry brush to dislodge any stray grains of sugar before placing over a high heat. Bring to a rapid boil and add a sugar thermometer. Cook until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F, and remove from the heat. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk to soft peaks. With the mixer running, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bowl, being careful not to touch the whisk, and continue whisking until the mixture cools, around 10 minutes.
Add the butter, one third at a time, and whip until fully incorporated. Switch the mixer to high and whip until fluffy. If the mixture turns soupy and runny and doesn't become thicker simply refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour and whisk again.
Puree the roasted strawberries in a food processor and add to the frosting and whip until combined. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle with the Italian meringue buttercream and pipe onto the top of each cupcake in whatever pattern you desire.
It’s important the Italian meringue cools down enough before you begin adding the butter. The bowl of the mixer should be cool to touch. I like to set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes while whisking the egg whites and once the time is up and the bowl is cool I begin adding the butter. Add the butter to soon and the frosting could melt and turn the meringue into a soupy mess. If that happens don’t stress. Simply refrigerate the mixture in the mixing bowl for an hour and begin whipping again before adding the remaining butter and flavouring.