Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup (155 g) sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 cup (120 g) fresh cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons (84 g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155 g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons (86 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites , room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (163 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, room temperature
  • 1 cup (120 g) fresh cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) water, divided
  • 1/2 cup (104 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (95 g) vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups (346 g) powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (169 g) white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • cupcake corer (you can also use a paring knife)
  • piping bag
  • Ateco 844 icing tip or Wilton 1M or 2D
  • Bring 1/2 cup of the sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan; simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Pour the prepared syrup into a heat-proof bowl and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries and stir to coat.
  • Refrigerate the cranberries in the syrup overnight, stirring a couple times to coat with syrup.
  • Preheat oven to 350F (176C) and prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy; about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until well combined.
  • Add 1 of the egg whites and mix until combined.
  • Add the remaining 2 egg whites and mix until well combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl, and combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until integrated.
  • Add the milk mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix until well combined and smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Fill the cupcake liners with the prepared batter about halfway up.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove them from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • To finish the cranberries, remove them from the simple syrup and roll them in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. You may need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them.
  • Set the cranberries aside to dry for an hour or so.
  • Combine the cranberries, 2 tablespoons water and the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cranberries begin to pop.
  • Remove the cranberries from the heat and set them aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cranberries to a food processor and puree.
  • Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve. You will end up with about 1/4 cup of cranberry puree; set it aside.
  • Beat the butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl until combined and smooth.
  • Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth after each addition.
  • Add the cranberry puree and mix until well combined.
  • Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  • Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it just starts to boil, then pour it over the white chocolate chips.
  • Cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap for 4 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Sometimes the white chocolate doesn’t completely melt. If that happens, microwave the white chocolate mixture in 10-second intervals, stirring well between each interval, until smooth.
  • Set the white chocolate ganache aside to cool a bit and thicken.
  • Use a cupcake corer to cut out a hole out of the center of each cupcake, about halfway down.
  • Fill the holes with the white chocolate ganache.
  • Frost the cupcakes with the cranberry frosting using the classic cupcake swirl.
  • Leave the top center of the swirl open.
  • Place the sugared cranberries on top of the frosting, filling in the top of the swirl of frosting.
  • Refrigerate the cupcakes until you are ready to serve.
  • These cupcakes are best eaten within 2 to 3 days and are best served at room temperature

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