Choco-Cherry Cupcakes (Or, the Steve-laboratory, birthday cupcake)
So as I mentioned before I’ve had a really, really busy week. For some crazy reason I had planned a party for last Saturday in the midst of it all. It was only supposed to be a small gathering, but magically as if out of nowhere the numbers grew…. grrrrrreat!
So, through it all, I promised that I would feature another “specialty” cupcake this week. Like I said, I had a little gathering of friends on the weekend, and it just so happened to be one of our guy-friend’s birthdays. This guy wants to go to med-school and works in a lab collecting and testing blood. So, I created a novelty cupcake to “represent” him.
This cupcake is made of a really nice chocolate cake and is filled with BLOOD! Okay, that would be disgusting… it isn’t REAL blood. I took cherry pie filling and pureed it to the consistency of blood. Really though, when you make them for yourself you will call it “cherry filling” and not blood. Unless you are strange like me, or are making them for Halloween. I topped them with a decadent and shiny ganache and then drew little “blood types” on them. You know; A+,B-,AB and so on. Yes, a dorky little novelty from one science student to another, but what can you do?
If I confused you, here is the short version of what these cupcakes are all about. A delectable, moist chocolate cake, filled with a pureed cherry filling, topped with a decadent chocolate ganache. Does it get any better than that? I really don’t think so.
The best thing about these cupcakes is the fact that they are REALLY easy. You have the ability to take many short cuts. And because I know a lot of you are so busy, I will post the “short” version of this recipe. The long version would be using your own cake recipe and making cherry pie filling from scratch (which really only nuts like me do on Saturdays right before they throw a party… dumb!) But seriously, make these. They are sinful and are to DIE for. And you do not have to decorate them with blood types, no decoration or just little “swirlies” will be fine. And will probably be more well-received… hahaha.
Without further ado, I give you:
Ingredients (short cut version only)
Box of “Devil’s Food” cake mix.
Can of cherry pie filling
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
1 cup of heavy cream
White chocolate for decorating (optional!)
Making the Cupcakes
Go out and buy a box of Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix. This is your “short cut, cheating” week! Get a nice darker, fudgy one you like. Fill your cupcake tins 2/3 of the way and bake them!
Now, place the entire can of cherry pie filling into your blender. Puree the cherries until they are nice and smooth. HOLD ON TO THE LID. Do not let the cherries explode all over your kitchen. You will regret this as the cherry pie filling will try to stain EVERYTHING!!!
Filling Your Cupcakes
Now you are going to fill your cupcakes (once they are cooled of course) I don’t like the fill the cupcakes without removing part of the centre first. This is a hefty filling, and can’t just be piped in to the centre of the cupcake. Unfortunately, that would displace too much of the cake and cause it to leak out from somewhere else.
So, you must cut a “cone” out of the centre of the cupcake with a small yet sharp knife. This is really easy to do. Just put your knife in the off-centre of the cupcake and cut around in a circle, making a cone. Then you are obviously left with a little chocolate cone. You just cut off the inside bit, leaving the centre top whole. If you didn’t cut a large enough hole in the cupcake just move your finger around in there, or use your knife. Remove a little more of the cake if you need to. Now place a teaspoon or more of the filling in the cupcake right up to the top and replace the top centre piece of the cake. Easypeasy!
Now I usually make a chocolate ganache. However, if you like you can buy some nice chocolate frosting to top these with, or even cream cheese icing. A ganache is a shiny chocolaty coating that really makes your cupcake luxurious and decadent. And, you can actually whip the ganache to make a nice icing if you like. It is up to you!
Chocolate Ganache Coating
Take your chopped chocolate and place it in a decent sized bowl. Now on the stove heat the cream over medium heat. Bring it just to a boil, but don’t over boil it… you will regret the mess you cause! (Been there, done that!) Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and stir it up. Let it cool a bit before you use it to pour or frost on the cupcakes. I like it to be decently thick and cooled before I work with it. If you want it to be a “perfect” coating you wouldn’t let it cool as much. Once it has cooled a bit you can actually whip this with your beaters. It makes a lighter coloured chocolate frosting and is also to die for. This will make more of a traditional cupcake.
The Perfect Ending
Once the ganache is set and hard you can decorate with a melted white chocolate if you like. I find that white chocolate against dark is so appealing.
If you make this for any event people will be begging you for the recipe. And if you just make it with these short cuts it barely uses up any of your time! So really, why WOULDN’T you make these cupcakes? Clearly you would be insane. Chocolate and cherries were made for each other.
Also, if you have kids, these cupcakes would be PERFECT to send off to the class for Valentine’s Day! You could decorate them with little hearts. Just a little suggestion Enjoy your cupcakes, I know I did.. a few too many.
Ciao for now!