Cupcake Friday Project

A one-woman test kitchen meets nano-bakery

Chocolate-covered cherry cupcakes

Chocolate covered cherry cupcakes with mocha cake, maraschino cherry whipped cream, chocolate ganache, sour cherry buttercream and a chocolate-dipped cherry on top
I wanted to do something this week that would fit with Valentine’s Day, so the chocolate-covered cherry cupcake is what I came up with.

Now, be aware, this is a very involved cupcake. There’s cupcake baking. There’s chocolate ganache making. There’s cherry chopping and whipped cream whipping. Not to mention the buttercream frosting and hand-dipped maraschino cherries. That’s right, I went all out.

I originally thought I’d make a cherry filling for the center of the cupcakes, but I’m glad I stepped back and made a chopped maraschino cherry whipped cream filling instead (something I learned to do at the bakery this past Sunday!) Why? Well, I feel like the cherry filling, while delicious, would have been too heavy. I was looking for a decadent cupcake, not a sit-in-your-stomach-like-a-brick cupcake.

I decided to try a new cake recipe, this time a mocha cupcake recipe from Javacupcakes. I am very happy with how these little beauties baked up, and I only made a few small changes to the original recipe. So in honor of all things chocolatey and cherry, in honor of Valentine’s Day (if that’s your thing), or even in honor of George Washington’s birthday (coming up on Feb. 22), bon appetit!

Chocolate-covered cherry cupcakes

Yield: 28 cupcakes (note: I only used 18 cupcakes for this recipe)

Ingredients

Cupcake Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp espresso powder
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Ganache Ingredients
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream

Cherry Whipped Cream Ingredients
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup maraschino cherries

Cherry Buttercream
2 cups cherries (I used frozen sour cherries that I had picked last summer and froze)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp cream

Chocolate-Dipped Cherry Garnish Ingredients
Maraschino cherries
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center. Line cupcake pans with papers. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar, whisking to blend; set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed, medium pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat. Once melted, add the coffee and whisk together. Add the espresso powder and cocoa--gradually--whisking to combine. The mixture should come to a simmer, but not a boil. You want it to thicken.

Once thickened, cool the cocoa mixture for about 10-15 minutes.

In your stand mixer, whip together the eggs and buttermilk. Add the vanilla.

Once the cocoa mixture has cooled, slowly had a little bit of the mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly. Add the remaining mixture, whisking to combine (this might best be done by taking the bowl off the stand mixer and whisking by hand, then putting it back on to the mixer for the dry ingredients).

Add the dry ingredients in 3-4 stages, mixing well to combine.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 20 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 5 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

For the chocolate ganache, heat the heavy cream until just boiling. Then poor over the chocolate chips in a bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir to combine and cool slightly so the mixture thickens a bit.

Core the cupcakes, then dip the tops into the ganache. Place on a tray and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.

For the whipped cream, make sure your whipping cream is cold and your mixing bowl is clean. I like to chill my mixing bowl as well (I find it helps the process). Whip the cream with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whip a bit more until the peaks are a bit stiffer, but not too hard.

Add 2 tbsp of maraschino cherry juice and the chopped maraschino cherries, whipping to combine. Chill if necessary.

Pipe into the cupcakes after dipping into the ganache.

For the frosting, first heat the cherries over medium high heat until liquid is reduced. Put into a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the butter and 1 cup of sugar, beating until combined. Add the remaining sugar gradually and cream. Transfer to a stand mixer and whip until light and fluffy.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, aiming to cover the filling hole (left uncovered). Frosting does not need to go out to the edges--you want the ganache to show.

Dip the maraschino cherries in the heated chocolate and place on wax paper. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes, then place on top of the cupcakes.

Pat yourself on the back. This is one freaking extravagant recipe!

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5 Comments

  1. I have nothing to say about this cupcake except it is AMAZING. I love everything about it: the cake, the filling, the frosting and the cherry on top. Definitely in my top two.

  2. I liked these!

    GARNISH: I love M. Cherries. One of my favorite things ever. This is a valueless comment I realize, but feel obligated to put it out there all the same.

    FROSTING, CHERRY: Was good! I feel like this is a frosting we’ve had before, but still, no complaints! Typical tastiness and etc.

    FROSTING, CHOCOLATE: Was also good, though I don’t remember it as much and am not sure if it really added anything.

    PRESENTATION: Amazing! These were very pretty cupcakes.

    2 CENTS: What I would do next time is put a cherry filling in the middle, instead of the frosting. I feel like that would have tied the tastes together more.

    OVERALL: A+ Would eat again.

  3. This was a beautiful V-day treat. The appearance was perfect. Loved the texture and flavor of the cherry buttercream and the moist, choco boost the ganache gave to the cupcake. Cake was moist and delicious. Held together nicely.

    I’m so glad you went with the cherry whip filling instead of actual fruit. However, I don’t know that it was even necessary. It almost read as part of the frosting, except for the bursts of maraschino, which I’m not a huge fan of so I could go without.

    The chocolate dipped cherry on top really popped on the light pink nest of frosting.

  4. This cupcake lasted approximately 2 minutes in my grasp. It was AWESOME. Definitely one of my new all-time faves! The chocolate cake was spectacular and so well complimented by the ganache and whip. Yum yum YUM. Do agree with Julie re: the filling, I don’t think you need it. Not a negative though, I can’t say one bad thing about this one. It was divine. :)

  5. The cupcake itself was superb, deep and rich with nice dark chocolate tones. The ganache was also excellent. Cherry isn’t my thing, so I can’t fully appreciate this one, but I do think the recipe for the cupcakes themselves is flawless. My boss, however, says these are now her favorite cupcakes in the world, so there’s your official review.

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