I was asked to be in charge of dessert for my mom's Mother's Day dinner this year. My mother also kindly reminded me that every year between Mother's Day and her birthday (June 18), she swears off sweets. Understanding that mine would be the last sweet she eats in over a month, I laughed to myself, "Ok, no pressure." As soon as I found this recipe, I knew it was perfect for the one and only Dianne Parker: cupcakes, chocolate, and mint. I couldn't have been happier with the reaction on Mama Dianne's face when she took her first bite--it was like her whole body relaxed: her eyes lazily closed and her lips swooned. A little, "ohhh..." came out of her lips.
My one-word description of this treat: Heavenly.
Thanks again, to Smitten Kitchen, for making gourmet cooking so easy.
*adapted (slightly) from Smitten Kitchen
For the cupcakes:
6 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (I used the Bakers brand squares)
6 Tablespoons butter (3/4 stick), cut into pieces
3 large eggs, separated
6 Tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the white chocolate mint cream:
4 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
6 oz. whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Start by making the white chocolate mint cream. Place the white chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer, then pour over white chocolate to melt. Let sit for one minute, then whisk well until smooth. Add peppermint extract and whisk again. Place saran wrap over the bowl and chill in the refrigerator until very cold, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
Stir chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over low heat until mostly melted, then remove from heat and whisk until fully melted and smooth. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 3 Tablespoons sugar on high speed in a medium bowl, until mixture is thick and pale, about two minutes. Briefly beat chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract into yolk mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl (on high speed) until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3 Tablespoons sugar and all of the salt until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Using a 1/4 cup, divide batter among prepared cups, filling each 3/4 of the way.
Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch and a tester inserted into the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan, on a cooling rack. The centers will start to fall, which is where the mint cream comes in...
Beat mint white chocolate cream with electric beaters on high until soft peaks form. Remove cupcakes from pan, arrange on a platter, and fill each with a dollop of white chocolate mint cream.
Enjoy heaven in your mouth.