Happy Birthday: Black Forest Cupcakes!

1 Jul

Black Forest Cupcakes

I have fond memories of going to a restaurant called the Black Forest for scrumptious Black Forest cake. When Becca and I found out that kind of cake was our dear friend Tara’s favourite, we knew exactly what we were making for her birthday.

Looking at the recipe and knowing what Black Forest Cake entails, we should have realized they were a bit more work than the average cupcake. Not just icing, but pastry cream and chocolate ganashe. Which involves simmering on the stove in a saucepan.

Not only that, but the cherries had to be cut and, after the cupcakes themselves had been cut in two, had to be washed with the kirsch mixture (or in our case the mixture of cherry juice and vodka, as we lacked kirsch, also known as cherry flavoured brandy). Luckily, there is some room for substitutions in this recipe.

But these cupcakes were so worth the extra work! Although we thought the cupcakes themselves looked a little funny (of course, they don’t rise like most cupcakes do), they tasted delicious. Fresh cherries would have made this dessert even more enjoyable, but canned ones worked just as well.

Here’s the recipe from Martha Stewart– enjoy! And here’s fair warning- watch out! These guys can get a little messy. The rich taste, however, is worth it.

Ingredients

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for tins

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for tins

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 jar (12 ounces) preserved cherries in light syrup

2 tablespoons kirsch (cherry-flavored brandy)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush standard muffin tins with butter; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add brown sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and mixing until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  4. To finish, drain cherries, reserving 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons syrup. Cut each cherry in half. Combine reserved syrup and kirsch in a small bowl. Using a serrated knife (and a gentle sawing motion), split cupcakes in half horizontally. Brush both cut sides with kirsch mixture. Arrange halved cherries over cupcake bottoms; spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon pastry cream evenly over cherries. Replace top halves. Spoon 2 tablespoons glaze over tops. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Pastry Cream

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

Pinch of salt

2 cups milk

1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush standard muffin tins with butter; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

  1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add brown sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and mixing until just combined after each.
  2. Divide batter evenly among prepared cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  3. To finish, drain cherries, reserving 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons syrup. Cut each cherry in half. Combine reserved syrup and kirsch in a small bowl. Using a serrated knife (and a gentle sawing motion), split cupcakes in half horizontally. Brush both cut sides with kirsch mixture. Arrange halved cherries over cupcake bottoms; spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon pastry cream evenly over cherries. Replace top halves. Spoon 2 tablespoons glaze over tops. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Ganache

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Directions

  1. Place chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.
  2. Using a flexible spatula, gently stir chocolate and cream until totally combined; begin near the center of the bowl and gradually work your way toward the edge, pulling in as much chocolate as possible, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. (If any chocolate pieces remain, strain mixture through a fine sieve and discard solids.) If not using immediately, glaze can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat gently before using.
  3. Shiny chocolate glaze variation: Reduce amount of chocolate to 2 ounces. Follow step 1 of recipe above, letting mixture stand 5 minutes before slowly whisking until smooth and combined. Use immediately, without straining.
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One Response to “Happy Birthday: Black Forest Cupcakes!”

  1. dh July 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Hey, I enjoyed your article it is very informative. I gained 5 pounds just looking at the picture. Keep up the good work.

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