Monday, October 01, 2007

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

I was looking to make a really easy dessert. When I spotted this Chocolate Cherry Cupcake recipe on the Domestic Goddess Nigella's website, I thought I would give them a go. The reviews from others was that the cupcakes were decadently delicious. I agree with them, these cupcakes are very rich and nice. I did lick my fingers when I tried the frosting, but not half as sensually as Nigella does it on her show. She is definitely sexing up cooking, although it is starting to become a bit over the top. How many close up shots can they possibly do of her licking a spoon seductively with a voice montage claiming how the cream is so smooth and feels like velvet on her tongue. Ok, I could watch about 5 shots per episode hehehehe.

Anyway, back to the cupcakes. It was extremely easy to make, taking about half an hour from start to having them in the oven. The frosting was also easy. I made it while the cupcakes were baking and then frosted the cupcakes when they had cooled a bit.

I will definitely make these again, but with a minor change. I found it a bit too sweet. Possibly I got the wrong jam. The recipe said to use Morello cherry jam, but the supermarket only had Black cherry jam, which was sweetened with grape juice. I think if I just use canned cherries next time, it would taste a lot better with the slight sour flavours contrasting with the richness of the cupcake and frosting. I didn't bother decorating with a cherry on top either.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
125g soft unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
300g morello cherry jam
150g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
150g self-raising flour
12-bun muffin tin and papers

For the icing:
100g dark chocolate
100ml double cream
12 natural-coloured glace cherries

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.

Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on the heat to melt. When nearly completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment to begin softening, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Now add the cherry jam, sugar, salt and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon and when all is pretty well amalgamated stir in the flour.

Scrape and pour into the muffin papers in their tin and bake for 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out.

When the cupcakes are cool, break the chocolate for the icing into little pieces and add them to the cream in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and then whisk – by hand or electrically – till thick and smooth. Ice the cupcakes, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon, and stand a cherry in the centre of each.

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