After tackling this recipe I had to sit down and remind myself of the reasons why I am doing this. I am trying to teach myself how to bake. I can’t get frustrated on the second recipe and just give up.
You can probably guess by that intro that I didn’t have a fantastic result with these.
I got the recipe from Baking - a commonsense guide, a book I invested in because I thought it would be the holy grail of baking. This is the second recipe I’ve tried and I don’t remember being impressed with the last one. This book better shape up, or I’ll be shipping it out – straight to Vinnies!
First mistake: Deciding that I felt like baking at 8.40 pm on a Monday night whilst also wanting to watch The Voice. Do I have rocks in my head? What’s wrong with me?! I don’t think I am the sort of person that can bake on a whim – I need organisation and plenty of relaxed time up my sleeves before I can attempt baking. I had the tele on, a messy kitchen and work the next morning. What a thick.
With one eye (and an ear) on the televisual warbling I skimmed the book looking for recipes containing buttermilk as I wanted to use up the leftovers from my Ginger cakes with orange glaze. Later on I noticed on the carton that you can freeze buttermilk. Excellent information, hopefully next time I will not enter into hasty baking decisions to use up leftover goods. This recipe contained buttermilk, white chocolate and cream cheese – ingredients I had so I figured it was a winner.
Second mistake: Not reading the recipe in full before deciding to upon the recipe. When will I learn?! This happened last time! When I started the batter I realised the recipe specified white chocolate chips, rather than the white chocolate melts which I had (you might think the title of the recipe would be a dead giveaway…) One melt would probably equal about 10 chips so I decided to chop them up with a steak knife as the kitchen knives were all dirty and waiting to be washed. After nearly stabbing myself with the tip for about the 15th time I realised that using a steak knife was a stupid mistake. But I persisted and ended up with chunks of white chocolate, bigger than chips but smaller than melts. In retrospect it’s quite lucky I didn’t bleed on the chocolate, what with it being white and all. Of course as I hadn’t read the recipe properly I didn’t notice that the icing also included white chocolate, I had exactly enough for the cake batter so the icing would had to be chocolate-less.
Third mistake: Over-exuberant use of the Mixmaster. (I don’t even own a Mixmaster, I think it’s a Breville food mixer, but I just call them all Mixmasters). I had to beat the (softened) butter & eggs using an “electric beaters” and then “fold” in the other ingredients. Of course, as I was ill-prepared my butter was rock-hard from being kept in the fridge so I had to zap it into the microwave, long enough to soften it but not too long that it would be melted. Don’t do this. I was supposed to beat the butter and eggs until “pale and creamy”. I just ended up with a large clump of slightly soft, mostly hard butter swinging around on the electric beaters like a drunk on a chandelier, flicking sugar all over the place. It took forever to resemble anything near “pale and creamy”. After this and the hand-chopping of the chocolate I was feeling a little tetchy – I just wanted to sit down and watch The Voice – I didn’t want to miss what was sure to be a glorious showdown between Prinnie and Mahalia! I just had to fold the other ingredients in and I could whack these babies into the oven. Isn’t it fortuitous that my Mixmaster has a folding option?!
Note to self: Probably not..
The batter ended up so ridiculously thick that when I disengaged the metal beaters from the machine they could actually stand up in the batter it was so thick. It made it incredibly difficult to get the batter off the spoon and into the patty pan, and I overfilled some of the them so I ended up with cupcakes that were overflowing by the time I pulled them out of the oven.
If you eat too many of these cakes your thighs will look like this batter
On a positive note, because I think we’re all in need of at least ONE by now, the flavour of the batter was amazing. Have you tried the cake batter ice cream at Cold Rock? The flavour was almost exactly the same. But it was incredibly sweet, it didn’t take much batter to make me feel a bit ill.
Fourth mistake: Incorrect cooking time. After a rather lengthy discussion at work regarding fan-forced ovens and baking temperatures we all agreed that I should factor down recipes by about 30 degrees to avoid the burnt bottom result I got last time. Big mistake. When I removed the cupcakes after the specified amount of cooking time of 20 minutes they were almost still batter. I ended up baking them for another 14 minutes altogether. I let the cakes cool for 10 minutes and then turned them out upon a wire rack and some of them started to fall apart, like they were still a little on the uncooked side. Mick and I shared one of them that was falling apart, I ate about half of the top (it had grown to look like a muffin) and even though the melted chocolate was delicious they really were too sweet and I think that they also had a slight undercooked flavour.
I let the cupcakes cool and read the instructions for the icing – not only should it have white chocolate, of which none remained, but it also had cream, cream cheese and icing sugar. No way was I covering those cakes in that! It made my arteries harden just thinking about it.. and let’s face it… I was well over baking by this time.
Mick took the cakes to work – I was far too embarrassed to take them to my office.
The reality - note chocolate chunks and greasy patty pan cases
Presentation: 4/10 – Crap
Taste: I’m going to give them 6/10. Mick’s workmates gobbled them all up. They were edible and without the white chocolate the cake itself would have been quite nice.
Texture: 4/10 – Also crap. Could have been improved by the correct temperature and not beating the crap out of them.
Here’s the recipe, I’d love to know if anyone makes these and their thoughts on the end result. Personally, I’ll never attempt these again.
Individual White Chocolate Chip Cakes
Preparation time: 20 minutes (does not include hand-cutting chocolate melts down to chocolate chip size)
Cooking time: 20 minutes (does not include extra 14 minutes of cooking time if you get all confuzzled and bake it at the wrong temperature)
125 g unsalted butter, softened
185 g caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
250 g self-raising flour, sifted
125 ml buttermilk
280 g white chocolate chips
white chocolate, shaved, to decorate (omitted from my recipe as I didn’t have any left…)
White chocolate cream cheese icing
100 g white chocolate
60 ml cream
200 g cream cheese, softened
40 g icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 170ºC (325ºF or Gas 3). Lightly grease twelve 125 ml muffin tins (for some reason I decided to use patty pans in mine – after I’d tipped them out – and finished watching the Voice, I went to wash pans up, I could see droplets of congealed butter in the bottom – these cakes are lardy)
- Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl using electric beaters until pale and creamy. Gradually add the egg, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat. Fold in the flour alternately with the buttermilk and then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Foll each muffin hole three quarters full with the mixture and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into each cake. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly, then add to the cream cheese and icing sugar and then beat until smooth.
- Spread the icing over the cakes and decorate with white chocolate shavings.