22 November 2010

Black Forest Cupcakes

I used to think I didn’t like cherries. I wouldn’t eat anything that was cherry flavored, or had cherries in it. Especially cherry pie, the texture scares me (but I love the filling part of cherry pie filling). Except fresh cherries.

But lately I have discovered that I’m a bit obsessed with chocolate cherry shakes from Brahms. Not a huge fan of the chunks in the bottom, but I live with them because the rest of the shake is marvelous.

To celebrate the fact that I got to dance at a party, I decided to make chocolate cherry cupcakes, and I knew the perfect place to find them: Annie’s Eats and her Black Forest Cupcakes. She has never failed me in having an intriguing recipe when I’m at a loss.

Here is my modified version.

Black Forest Cupcakes

1 2/3 c Flour
2/3 c Cocoa Powder, sifted
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt
1 t Instant Coffee
8 T Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c Sugar
2 Eggs
1 t Vanilla
1 1/2 c Cream, soured (or Buttermilk)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the sections of two cupcake pans. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and coffee powder together. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full. Bake 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (check these early, they were slightly dry at 18 minutes for me). Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 package Dried Cherries
1 1/2 c Water, to cover cherries
2 T Sugar
Maraschino cherry juice or cherry liqueur

To make the filling, add dried cherries to a sauce pan and add enough water to cover them. Mix in the sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. When most of the water has been soaked up, mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher until the cherries are no longer completely intact. When only a thick syrup is left of the liquid add the liqueur or cherry juice. (I used both)

To fill the cupcakes, remove a portion from the center of each cupcake. (I used a strawberry huller, but a paring knife will work just as well) Spoon in about 2-3 teaspoons of the cherry compote. Brush cherry juice or liqueur over the cupcakes, be generous.

1 1/4 c Whipping Cream
6-7 T Powdered Sugar
1 t Vanilla

Pour the cream into a large bowl. Add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Using a hand mixer, start beating on medium speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to high speed. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

Frost the filled cupcakes with the whipped cream. Garnish as desired with a cherry and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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