YAY SPRINKLES. They instantly cheer me up. Isn't everything so much better with rainbow sprinkles on top? I've always wanted to try making hi-hat cupcakes, but I've been a bit terrified of anything to do with coating things in chocolate because it usually leads to mess and tears in my kitchen. But I pushed ahead regardless and made a white chocolate version.
Aren't these cupcakes so cute? I love the look of the fluffy white icing on top of the cupcakes. It was almost a shame to cover up the pretty swirls of icing with white chocolate and sprinkles. The cupcakes are also white chocolate flavoured and had a lovely fine crumb. Even though I forgot about them while they were in the oven and over-baked them a little, they weren't dry at all.
There's a couple tricky bits to these cupcakes. First is making sure you whip your meringue until it is stiff enough. Mine was a little under mixed, so it didn't pipe to quite the glorious heights that I was hoping for. The second part is to make sure your melted white chocolate mixture is cool enough before dipping the tops of the cupcakes into it, otherwise your meringue icing will just melt as soon as it hits the chocolate. I kept my cupcakes in the freezer until they were ready to dip to make sure they held their shape.
The only thing I haven't quite worked out is the best way to eat these cupcakes. The mountain of meringue icing and chocolate coating makes it a little hard to bite into, and I haven't figured out a way to eat it without getting icing on the tip of my nose. One of my friends tried to twist the whole top half off and ended up with a melting mess of icing in his hand, which was definitely not the right way to eat it!
They're a bit more effort than a regular cupcake but so worth the extra time! I love how the coating makes it look like one of those soft-serve cones from Wendy's with the chocolate coating and sprinkles on top. I almost wish I had stuck a Kit-Kat into the side as well.
White Chocolate Hi-Hat Cupcakes with Sprinkles
For the cupcakes:
165g (about 1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
150g (about 2/3 cup) sugar (I use caster/superfine)
110g (about 4oz) white chocolate, melted
150g (about 1 & 1/4 cups) plain/all-purpose flour
1 & 1/3 tsp baking powder (alternatively, use 155g self-raising flour)
Preheat oven to 180°C (350° F)and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper liners. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then add white chocolate and stir to combine. Sift flour and baking powder over cake batter and fold in until combined. Fill cupcake liners with batter until they are about 2/3rd full. Bake for 18-20 mins or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tin for 5 mins and then cool completely on a wire rack.
For the meringue icing:
400g (about 1 & 3/4 cups) sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk regularly. Heat until a candy thermometer inserted into the mixture reads 70°C (160° F), mixture should be hot to the touch. Remove from heat and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed for about 10 minutes as mixture cools, until mixture is thick, white and very stiff. Place in a large piping bag with a 1cm round tip and pipe a high spiral of icing on top of each cupcake. If your meringue is not holding its shape then it is undermixed and needs to be whisked for longer. Place piped cupcakes in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating (if you don't have enough space in your freezer, place in the fridge for at least 30 mins).
For the white chocolate coating:
340g (12oz) white chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
To decorate: 100s & 1000s (rainbow sprinkles)
To decorate: 100s & 1000s (rainbow sprinkles)
Melt chocolate and oil together in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water until smooth and combined. Set mixture aside for at least 15 mins to allow it to cool or it will melt your icing. Place mixture in a deep, narrow bowl or cup. Take your cupcakes out and dip the cupcake in the chocolate mixture to coat all the icing, allowing the excess to drip off. Sprinkle rainbow sprinkles over the top while the coating is still wet (don't dip your cupcakes into the sprinkles). Return to the freezer/fridge for 5 mins to allow the coating to set, then store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.