chocolate raspberry cupcakes

 

These should really be called Ganache Filled Dark Chocolate Cups of Amazingness with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Icing.  But that was a bit lengthy.

I have not made cupcakes, or even a cake for that matter, from scratch in a very long time.  There is just something so tempting about a boxed mix and I always seem to be in some huge hurry to whip up cupcakes for some reason or another.  Always completely unnecessary of course, I mean I can’t think of a situation that could be considered an actual cupcake emergency.  Maybe forgetting you own child’s birthday would qualify….

I think the other intimidating thing about baking cupcakes is the limitless possibilities that you are faced with when choosing a flavor.  There are chic, trendy cupcake shops everywhere these days (How long it this fad going to last?! How can you survive a financial crisis only selling cupcakes?) full of inspiring colors and combinations.  I decided to ease myself back into baking with the tasty duo of dark chocolate and raspberries. Maybe I’ll try something a bit more innovative next time.

This recipe may seem a bit long and complicated from the recipe, but it is foolproof!  You can even leave out the ganache filling (you would be the one missing out) or substitute raspberry jam for the fresh raspberries in the icing!  Either way I’m sure you’ll still end up with some delicious cupcakes.  Just make sure you grab one before they are all gone!

P.S.  Sorry for posting two desserts in a row.  I can’t seem to control my sweel tooth!

Ganache Filling

  • 6 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (no less than 60% cacao)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces.  Do not be lazy here!  If there are large chocolate chunks, they will not fully melt.  Put chopped chocolate into a heat-resistant bowl.
Bring the cream to a steady boil.  Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.  Tap the bowl on the counter to make sure no chocolate bits are stuck to the bottom.  Let stand for 30 seconds.  Stir with a whisk or spoon until completely mixed and glossy; approximately 2 minutes.
 

Chocloate-Buttermilk Cupcakes

makes about 20 cupcakes and an equal number of happy friends

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter in a stainless steel bowl for a few minutes on medium speed until it softens. Add the sugar and beat for several more minutes until it is light-colored and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Repeat with the egg yolks.  Add in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add in the dry ingredients slowly (in about  3 additions), alternating with the buttermilk. Start and end with the dry ingredients to be sure that they are fully incorporated. Beat each addition just until it is combined into the mixture; do not overbeat.
Divide the batter between the cupcake tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full (don’t worry if this batter seems really thick).  Bake in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool on wire rack.  When almost cool, cut a small hole into the center of the cupcake with a knife.  Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cupcake centers.
 
 

Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups of raspberries (fresh or frozen both work great)
  • 1  teaspoon (or more to taste) fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature (if mixture is too thick)

Put the fresh or frozen raspberries in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat.   Stir frequently with a spoon until they break down into a sauce. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Return the juice back to the pot and simmer until it reduces to about 1/4 cup of beautiful red concentrated sauce.

Set aside to cool. When the raspberry sauce is room temperature, cream the room temperature butter in a stainless steel bowl of a using a paddle attachment. Add about 2 cups of the powdered sugar, raspberry sauce, lemon juice, and salt. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add  in the remaining powdered sugar and continue to mix until it reaches the desired consistency.  Add room temperature milk and more powdered sugar if the icing is not sweet enough for your taste.

Pipe the icing onto the filled cupcakes and top with fresh raspberries, chocolate curls, or whatever else you want!

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