Monday, November 3, 2008

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Okay, before I post my photo, I have to be up front.  Visually appealing food and I, we're more like oil and water.  We have yet to find a way to co-exist as happy partners.  Someday, with lots of love and lots of practice, I believe we'll make it. 

But, for now, my family understands that my food isn't always nice to look at and sometimes can be downright disgusting. As my eloquent pointed out immediately after spying my freshly decorated cupcakes, "Eww, that looks like dog poo." Yes, sweetheart, thank you for that visual as I take my fist bite. 


And from a different angle:



Maybe it's just the photographer.  Well, unfortunately that would be me, again, on my shoulders.  But, alas, as soon as I get my new camera, I'll be cleaning up my photography skills as well. 

So, besides the less than stellar appearance, how do my chocolate cherry cupcake taste?  OMG, they are the best friggin cupcakes I've ever made, and my homemade chocolate fudge frosting, EVEN BETTER.  I hate homemade frosting that tastes like powdered sugar, and this is the only one I've ever made that turned out divine! 

A couple notes on my changes:

  • I had to use the cranberry juice cocktail
  • In the frosting, I didn't have chocolate cream liqueur so I made a small amount of ganache instead. 
  • My husband HATES coffee, but I used it anyway, and it can't be tasted at ALL.  But I'd love to know why there's the addition of coffee?  Definitely curious!!

Both recipes come from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 C canned cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 C cherry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar an doil.  Mix in cherry pie filling, vanilla and almond extract.  Alternately whisk in flour mixture and cherry juice making three additions of flour mixture and two of juice, beating until batter is smooth.  Mix in vinegar.

3. Scoop batter into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.  Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 1 1/2 confectioner's (icing) sugar
  • 3/4 C unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp chocolate cream liqueur
  • 1 tbsp strong brewed coffee
  • pinch salt

1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, butter, chocolate liqueur, coffee and salt until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.

2. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.