Tuesday, October 28, 2014

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousseline

I've been a fan of Rose Levy Berenbaum's books for quite a while. I have quite a few of them, and I was looking forward to the release of her new book, The Baking Bible. So when I was offered an early release copy of the book, I was pretty excited.

AND!!! I have goodies to give away! Check the end of this post!

Not only did I get a book, I also got one of Rose's products to use - a collapsible silicone bowl from Harold Import Company. Sweet!

The recipe I made from the book was the White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousseline.

I love cupcakes because they're easy single servings, and if I want to give some away, it's a neater presentation to give someone a few cupcakes than to give them a few slices of cake.

And of course cupcakes are better for quality control. If you cut a slice out of a cake, it's obvious. But if you eat one (or, um ...two) out of a whole herd of cupcakes, no one ever knows.

I'll admit that my cupcakes weren't as picture-perfect as I hoped for, but that's common up here at high altitude. Not everything works perfectly on the first try - or even the second.

As usual, the cupcakes wanted to rise and spread rather than rise and stay, so the best tip I can give you if you're at high altitude is to fill the cupcakes a little less full. The recipe is supposed to make 16 cupcakes, but I got the best result when I made 22 cupcakes.

They weren't tall and domed, but they weren't sunken, either, which is often the case up here. So I'll count that as a win.

The cupcakes were really good and the texture was pretty amazing. Up here, cakes tend to grow large holes and be a little coarse-textured, but these were very fine-textured, and soft and fluffy, and pretty darned good.

I plan on tweaking the recipe a bit to get them to behave perfectly at high altitude. But I'd make them just like this again, no problem.

But let's talk about this mousseline.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The recipe looked pretty complicated. Several steps, including a raspberry sauce that needed to be made ahead of time. And a meringue. And some beaten butter. And the need for checking temperatures to make sure everything is correct.

It sounded like a lot of work, but really it wasn't that bad when I followed the recipe step by step. None of it was really complicated, and it was very well explained.

And it was totally worth it. Totally!

I'm not usually a fan of frosting. Most of them are too sweet for me. Some buttercreams are okay, and I like a good cream cheese frosting when it's appropriate. But I'm the person who usually peels the excess frosting off of a cake and sets it aside.

But this frosting was amazing! It was a little bit tart from the raspberry sauce, and a little bit sweet. It was fluffy and buttery and smooth and creamy and perfectly delightful.

I, the person who doesn't really care for frosting, might have sucked the last dollop of frosting out of the piping bag when I was all done decorating the cupcakes. It really was that good. And I might have scraped the last little bits out of the bowl, too. But I'm not admitting anything. Nope.

Speaking of raspberry sauce, the recipe makes a bit more sauce than you need, but it's pretty great stuff all on its own. It would be great on top of ice cream or pancakes or mixed into a cocktail or lemonade or a smoothie. Or brushed onto chicken or pork. So many uses.

Mousseline is apparently another name for Italian Buttercream. I suggest you try it whenever you have a chance. Together, the cupcakes and frosting were a perfect combination. Way good.

The recipe is quite long, so I've created a separate post for it right here.

One thing I really like about this book is that the recipes include both weights and volume measures. While the weight-to-volume conversion for things like water or granulated sugar are pretty precise, flour weights vary a lot depending on how loose or packed the flour is in the measuring cup.

So, it's nice to have weights for flour, and convenient to have it for other things.

This book isn't a lightweight - it's over 500 pages, with lots of recipes to ogle over and to bake. I've got a whole lot of them bookmarked and I've seen the results of some of them on other blogs. If you're looking for a baking book, this one covers everything from bread to cake to pastry, along with frostings, fillings, and other goodies. Check it out when you have a chance.

I received a copy of the book at no cost to me.

Want to see more recipes from this book? Check out these blog posts!

Turtle Pie from Mad Rantings of Andrew's Mom
Sour Cherry Pie from Cindy's Writings and Recipes
The Ischler (cookies) from Foodhunter's Guide