I’m dreaming of a White…chocolate cupcake.

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I LOVE white chocolate. I love it the way Southerners love college football. I could drown in a vat of white chocolate and die happy. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You get the point.

Our friends Eric & Tris Chapman had me and Zack and our other friends Brandie and Shane Etheridge to their house to watch the Assasination of Jesse James last month (Casey Affleck is amazing. The rest of the movie just wasn’t my thing). I baked some chocolate chip cupcakes with white chocolate chips and filled with white chocolate ganache – you actually carve out a little plug and pipe in the ganache! Cute! It’s a recipe I got a long time ago by Emeril Lagasse. My dear friend Ruth Tinsley decribed them as a “party behind her face” and even wrote a poem about them. As you can see, I had a little trouble with my cocoa powder on top. I honestly don’t think anyone else liked them quite as much (yes, Tris, I saw you throw away half of yours), but I reckon you really have to be a white chocolate fanatic to truly appreciate them, so I don’t begrudge.

Emeril Lagasse’s White Chocolate Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder (for chocolate cupcakes)

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, cracked into a small cup or saucer
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
White Chocolate Filling, recipe follows
16 maraschino cherries, garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 1 (12-cup) muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the remaining ingredients, adding the hot water last. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the greased muffin tin wells. Bake until the cupcakes are puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool to room temperature in the tins. Run a thin, sharp knife around the sides of the muffin cups to loosen the cupcakes, and carefully lift out. Place the cupcakes on a work surface.

Transfer the white chocolate filling to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. With a small paring knife, cut a small plug from the top of each cupcake, reserving the plug, and scoop out a hole in the center of each cupcake to hold the filling. Place the tip in the cupcake and pipe in the filling to fill the hole. Replace the plug and place the cupcake upright. Pipe a small amount of filling on top to hide the plug and top with a cherry.

Arrange the cupcakes on a platter and serve.

White Chocolate Filling:
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the top of a double boiler, combine the white chocolate and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Let cool to room temperature. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, and vanilla. Gradually add the cooled chocolate and beat until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before filling cupcakes. Use to fill the chocolate cupcakes as directed.

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