Happy Birthday, America!
On July 4, 1776, we adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring our nation’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Though, technically, most delegates didn’t sign it until August 2 which means we actually could celebrate for a whole month! The signed copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, along with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Yes, there is more than one copy. Hundreds were printed on July 4 to be sent to specific destinations in the 13 colonies. Of that, only 26 copies survived. If you haven’t made the trip to Washington D.C. to see our nation’s greatest documents, I highly recommend it.
Not only do we celebrate our freedom every fourth of July, but we eat great food. Lots of barbecuing, baking and alcohol fills our weekend while enjoying fireworks. Zu, my usually brave German Shepherd, and I will be hunkered down in a padded bedroom while the sounds of a war zone fill our neighborhood. We'll have plenty of these simple and patriotic fireworks cupcakes to soothe our anxiety.
Before baking anything, I make the white chocolate “fireworks” streams. Melt white chocolate wafers, or chips, in a make-shift double boiler...a large pot with a handle and large stainless bowl on top. Add about four inches of water to the pot, set stove on medium to high heat, set stainless bowl on pot and let the steam do the melting. Once it's melted, set it to the side and just pulled what you need for the first batch. Leave the rest in the pan to keep it melted until you get to it.
It’s hot so let it cool slightly before putting it in to a plastic icing bag. I use a Wilton tip 8 (I am not affiliated with Amazon) and make the designs on parchment. It’s not easy to sprinkle the sparkling sugar before the chocolate hardens. So instead, after they harden, I put the sparkling sugar in a rectangular bowl, spray the chocolate squiggles with a little water and dip them into the sugar.
Next, I make the cupcakes so they can be cooling. The white cake recipe is very straight forward except for the egg whites. It’s important to separate the eggs properly. Even a little bit of yolk can mess things up. Separate in different bowls so you don’t have to start over.
Use a clean bowl to beat the egg whites.
Separate eggs in different bowls to make sure there is no yolk.
It takes several minutes for peaks to form.
Test your whites by pulling the beater straight out of the mixture. If peaks form, you’re good.
Do not over-beat.
Since I'm making cupcakes, I replace canola oil with filtered coconut oil (doesn’t taste or smell like coconut). It gives the cupcakes a crunchy top, like a muffin. Just be careful when baking. If the tops get too golden brown, the cake inside may not retain it’s moisture. Again, being these are cupcakes, I do not use clear vanilla to keep the cake white. I make my own vanilla extract, usually aged 6 months to a year, and it will give the batter a cream colored tint.
Top the cupcakes with a rich vanilla buttercream. I use a Wilton 1M frosting tip. Sweet buttercream, crunchy top and moist cake....it's a nice bite!
After topping with buttercream, decorate your cupcakes with the red, white and blue chocolate streams then add sprinkles. A wonderful addition to your barbecue!!
Please let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment on Instagram and tag with @morganskitchn and #morganskitchn.