White Velvet Butter Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache

I decided to do like Faithy and make this week’s Heavenly Cake Bakers‘ selection from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes as cupcakes. It’s a white cake recipe that I’ve made many times before, and I absolutely love it. In fact, I made it for my cousin’s wedding cake a year and a half ago. It’s in The Cake Bible, as one of the handful of recipes that have the “Rose Factor” charts for scaling to just about any size and of pan. I’d never made a milk chocolate ganache though, so I was more than happy to bake this recipe again!

Start by weighing out your ingredients. I decided to use clear imitation “vanilla” just to see if it made any difference in the whiteness level. I don’t think it did, but I was out of real vanilla anyway, so it’s not like I had much of a choice. I don’t think our local convenience store’s particularly likely to carry pure vanilla extract!

Cast of Characters

I didn’t really need to consult the recipe after getting the ingredients scaled out. After mixing the dry ingredients and the sugar, add the butter and most of the milk.

Ready for Mixing

Beat for a minute and a half, then add the rest of the liquid in 2 batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl a few times, if you don’t have a beater blade. 😉 Portion out into 16 cupcake liners, then bake. It’s so quick and easy that I forgot to take any more pictures until they were in the oven.

Into the oven with you!

For the ganache, I decided to work at using up some of the giant package of milk chocolate I had bought at a wholesaler when I made the aforementioned wedding cake. It’s been in the freezer for a while, but it still appeared, smelled, and tasted delicious. I just noticed it the other day. Oops.

Ganache Players

To make the ganache, melt the milk chocolate most of the way, then stir to finish melting. Add warmed cream, whisking as you go. When just barely warm, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, then finish off with the vanilla. The instructions say to be careful not to introduce air lest you lighten the ganache. Well, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and put my hand mixer to the mixture, and see what this would look like whipped. It took a while for it to make any noticeable difference, but I eventually got something a vaguely pipeable consistency. Here are the frosted cupcakes that resulted.

All frosted!

The whipped ganache hardened a bit making it a slightly odd topping to the velvety soft cupcakes, but it had a lovely melt-in-the-mouth quality. I think Jay likes this ganache better than a more bitter dark chocolate one. If I was forced to pick, I’d probably pick dark chocolate more often than milk chocolate, but that doesn’t make this a bad cake topping by any means. In fact, if cornered, I’d be hard pressed to choose between any of the chocolate ganaches or the amazing buttercream variations we’ve done from this book so far. Any of them certainly beat the pants off greasy grocery store frostings.

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