Saturday, 26 January 2013

Black Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

I wrote you a haiku.....

Such simple pleasures
Hidden, but bite revealed
In secret centres

Ok, I'll stick to baking : )

Have I mentioned before that I love secret centers?

Sometimes the combination of the flavors compliment each other so well, that it's just .....pure poetry!

I haven't made cupcakes with a hidden centre for a while, and when I made these chocolate cupcakes with their ingredient of apricot jam, it made me think about using preserves as a secret centre....and, there you go: black cherry chocolate cupcakes!

Black Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes
recipe by Tea, Cake and Create 

Cherry Flavoured Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

5 large egg whites
1cup + 2 TBS castor sugar
340g butter, cut into cubes, at room temp.
A couple of drops of cherry essence.
Dusty Rose or Soft Pink gel colour.

Put the egg whites and sugar into a mixing bowl, and place that over a suitable saucepan of simmering water. The bottom of the mixing bowl must not be in contact with the water, and the water should not be boiling.

Whisk constantly, until the sugar granules have dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch.

Move off the stove, and to the mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, whip until it forms a thick and glossy meringue.

When the mixing bowl feels neutral to touch (ie, no longer hot), change over to the paddle attachment, and add the butter one cube at a time.
 It may curdle, but just keep whipping until it reaches a satiny smooth texture, and holds its shape.

Add the cherry essence - just a couple of drops, essences can easily become overpowering, and the colour.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Preserves

Pre-heat the oven to 180'C
Line 2 x 12 hole muffin pans with cupcake cases.

2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarb
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup boiling water
1tsp vanilla extract (I use Vanilla Girl vanilla - just a few drops)

1 jar good quality black cherry jam /preserves

Sift together the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the middle then add the other ingredients. Beat well.

Use a scoop, or 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour the batter into the cupcake cases. (It is a very runny batter).

Bake at 180'C for approx. 20minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool.
Spoon the cherry preserves into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle (eg an Ateco 802). Push the nozzle into the cupcake and squeeze in some jam.

Ice cupcakes with pretty pink cherry-flavoured SMB. Top each with a fresh cherry.

Allow the cupcakes and their jam filling to get to know each other for an hour before you introduce them to your guests ; )
It gives them a little time to let the cherry flavour infuse into the chocolate cupcake.

I'm sure you could use a tablespoon of the cherry jam instead of the essence, but cherry essence is one of my favorite flavours, and well worth having in your  my cupboard.

I'll leave you with a haiku from a master:

A lovely spring night 
suddenly vanished while we 
viewed cherry blossoms

Matsuo Basho


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