Black Forest Cupcakes

Chef: Barley and Sage

Course: Snack

Servings: 12

For the chocolate cupcakes

1 cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

For the cherry filling

2 cups cherries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Kirsch, or other cherry liquor

For the stabilised whipped cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons flavourless powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons water

Top with

fresh cherries
dark chocolate

For the cherry filling

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch. Stirring frequently, cook until the cherries begin to break down and the filling starts to simmer and thicken, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and Kirsch. Allow to mixture to cool completely before filling the cupcakes.
Can be made up to 3 days in advance, stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the chocolate cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In a new bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until combined.
Stir in about half of the flour mixture, then stir in the milk and remaining flour mixture and mix until completely combined.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be roughly halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

For the stabilised whipped cream

Add water to a microwave safe bowl, and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow this to sit for a few minutes.
Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave, and microwave for 5-10 seconds until the gelatin has fully dissolved. Stir the mixture, then allow to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip this mixture until begins to thicken and soft peaks form. Then, turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour the gelatin mixture in, and mix on low until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks have formed.
Note: if the gelatin mixture thickens up too much before you add it to the whipped cream, just pop it back in the microwave for 3-5 seconds. It should be a pour-able consistency.

For assembling it all together

Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake and discard (or snack on).
Use a spoon to fill each cupcake with cooled cherry filling.
Transfer the stabilized whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a 1A tip and then pipe swirls on each cupcake.
Finally, top with a dark chocolate shavings and a fresh cherry.

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