November 16, 2011

An affair…

I have a confession to make: I’m having an affair… with white chocolate!  I’ve always loved white chocolate.  I can’t explain why exactly I like it better than the other types of chocolate.  Perhaps because I feel it resembles the vanilla flavor that I love so much.  White chocolate is light, silky, elegant, and it’s the chocolate I run to when I’m in the mood for chocolate.  So, when I came across Giada’s Mascarpone and Dark Chocolate Cream in White Chocolate Cups recipe, there was no doubt in my mind – I had to try it!

It’s true.  Making these cupcakes was different and slightly more challenging than making other cupcakes.  There is actually no baking involved.  These are definitely my first cupcakes, which I didn’t have to bake in the oven.  When I was making them, I felt like a painter.  I wasn’t painting the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel, but I was painting the ultimate chocolate treat!  I’m no Michelangelo; however, these cupcakes are a work of art!  Not to mention that the whole confection is edible. 

These cupcakes are creamy, rich, crunchy, and just fabulous!  The contrasting colors make them elegant and sophisticated.  When you unpeel the cupcake liner, the white chocolate shell displays perfect ridges.  They are like small, delicate trinkets – you don’t know whether to eat them or to admire them.  If you are not a fan of white chocolate, you’ll be converted!  

Mascarpone and Semisweet Chocolate Cream in White Chocolate Cups
Adapted slightly from Mascarpone and Dark Chocolate Cream in White Chocolate Cups by Giada De Laurentiis

Serves: 8 servings


·         8 ounces good-quality white chocolate like Ghirardelli, chopped
·         4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet chocolate because I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate, but if you love dark chocolate I would definitely use that, instead)
·         1 cup heavy cream
·         3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
·         8 ounces mascarpone cheese
·         1 teaspoon grated orange peel
·         ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
·         White chocolate curls, for garnish


Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.  Melt the white chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth.  Spoon 1 Tablespoon melted chocolate into each paper liner.  Using a pastry brush, coat the chocolate evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the liners.  Freeze until the chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.  Remelt the white chocolate in the bowl.  Spoon 1 Tablespoon into each cup and brush over the bottom and up the sides, forming a second coat.  Freeze until completely set, about 1 hour. 

Melt the semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in top of a clean double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth.  At this point, set aside to cool completely.

Using an electric hand mixer beat the cream and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Set the whipped cream aside. 

Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese, melted semisweet chocolate, orange peel, and vanilla extract in a large bowl just until smooth and glossy, about 30 seconds (do not overmix).  Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in 2 batches.  Transfer the mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.  Pipe the mousse into the white chocolate cups.  Sprinkle the white chocolate curls over the mousse and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight, and then let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.  

Once you try these cupcakes, you’ll definitely fall in love with white chocolate.  Your guests will also be blown away and you’ll receive nothing but compliments.  These are the ultimate treat for any chocoholic!  Enjoy!     

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