Friday, October 1, 2010

Black Forest Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie's Eats.
Makes 2 dozen Cupcakes

For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. espresso powder, or strong brewed coffee
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk

For the filling:
Cherry Pie Filling

For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
12 tbsp. sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For garnish:
Fresh (or maraschino) cherries, with stems
Chocolate shavings

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line 16 wells of two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder together; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, take a pairing knife and using the cone method cut a small cone shape out of the center of the cupcake. Cut off the extra cake from the cone to make a little topper of cake. Then fill the cupcake with 2-3 cherries, and top with the leftover cake topper, and brush the top with a little maraschino cherry juice. Repeat on remaining cupcakes. Then make the frosting, a tip on making whipped cream is to keep the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour before making the cream, so that it's chilled.
To make the whipped cream frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Start beating on medium-low speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to medium-high speed.  While the cream is being whipped, gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar a spoonful at a time.  Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  (Be careful not to overbeat!)  Fold in the vanilla extract.
Frost the filled cupcakes with the whipped cream.  Garnish as desired with a cherry and chocolate shavings.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I made these for my Mother In Law's Birthday, along with Garlic Lime Chicken (coming soon!!). They were pretty simple to make over all, and I had a great time doing it! I piped the frosting onto the cakes, and they looked amazing! I totally recommend these if you're wanting a black forest cake, but don't want to make a huge cake! They're very yummy, and are kid friendly as my 2 year old has already enjoyed them! 5 Stars.

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