Last Thursday, this little blog turned one year old!…we celebrated the first anniversary with delicious White Chocolate, Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream which I managed to whip up all on my own without following a recipe, and thankfully they turned out amazing! I think that once you have a good chemical formula for cupcakes (the proper ratio of flour to sugar to eggs to butter) then you can just focus on freely creating with flavors and colors to satisfy the cravings.
Looking back to a year ago, I couldn’t be any more grateful to have developed this small space for myself in the internet, which I have filled with interesting and colorful things that I love. Because of it, not only have I become a better cook and baker but also a better “photographer” (or in my case, a lucky person with a fancy camera who has not idea what half of the settings are for but has learned a few tricks along the way).
I initially had intended for this space to be a welcomed distraction from school work and responsibility and it has become just that. And while researching ingredients, recipes, and travel blogs, I have also discovered an amazing community of people, with a space of their own, with shared interests, and beautiful, entertaining and inspiring blogs that I keep going back to week after week. From reading these sites I have pieced together what I like about a blog and a “blogger” and made a tiny outline to keep as reference for myself and for the future as I continue on this journey.
Things that make a good blogger:
- Write about what you love
- Don’t just take, create
- Write well and often
- Use photography, preferentially your own
- Get permission and give credit when using someone else’s work
- Never skew your opinions to favor sponsors
- Write as if nobody is reading and be honest
- Write as if the whole world is reading and be modest, humble and kind
- Whenever possible, leave irrelevant yet strong religious and political opinions out of your writing
- Be hopeful and optimistic and don’t complain about minutia
- Teach others about something they may not know, make sure it is correct
- Let someone proofread your work before posting
- Make it a labor or love and not a chore (that is unless you do it for money)
White Chocolate & Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
(makes about 12-15 cupcakes)
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For the cupcakes
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 2 bars of white chocolate (I used 2 bars of Ghirardelli (4 oz each)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup milk
For the buttercream
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
- pink food coloring (optional)
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
- Is a nonreactive pan over medium heat, cook the frozen raspberries until they are soft and start falling apart, stir often. Reduce the heat to low and add the chocolate in small pieces, stirring until melted. Add the lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
- With a stand mixer using the paddle attached, cream together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time while continuing to mix.
- Add the raspberry and melted chocolate mixture to the mixing bowl and mix well for 2 more minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, salt and baking powder, and mix for 2 minutes.
- Finally add the milk and mix until incorporated.
- Divide the batter among the prepared baking cups (3/4 of the way up) and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until done.
For the buttercream
- Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment combine the egg whites and sugar and mix lightly at medium steep for 1 minute until frothy.
- Add the sugar and eggs mixture to a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring the mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
- Transfer the mixture to the stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume. It should be thick with white peaks.
- Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate for 1 minute after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. (It takes a long time but do not despair).
- Add the salt, food coloring (optional) and the raspberry extract and mix for another minute.
- The buttercream is best if not refrigerated before eating. (Let the frosted cupcakes sit out of the fridge for 20-30 minutes before eating.