Black Forest Cupcakes

Rich, chocolate cupcakes filled with a sweet cherry compote, topped with light, whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a fresh cherrythumb_DSC05624_1024 I love the combination of chocolate, cherries and cream, so as it’s cherry season I couldn’t resist making some black forest cupcakes.

These are a lot easier than making a full-on gateau, but they are still super decedant, and make a wonderful dessert. thumb_DSC05619_1024 This was a really lovely way to use the cherries, so if your looking for a cherry themed dessert then I definitely recommend these.

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday this week, hosted by Angie, Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love. Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: To minimize the effort for these cupcakes, you could use a jar of shop-bought jam rather than making the compote. I also think that drizzling the cupcakes in melted dark chocolate would make them even more delicious!

thumb_DSC05616_1024 Ingredients: Makes 12 Cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50ml milk

The Cherry Compote:

  • 150g cherries, pitted
  • 1tbsp sugar

The Topping:

  • 400ml whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • chocolate curls
  • 12 cherries

thumb_DSC05615_1024 To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole tray with muffin cakes.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cocoa powder. Finally add the flour and milk, mix to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the cases, until they are 2/3 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked though.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. thumb_IMAG0612_1024

thumb_IMAG0613_1024

The Cherry Compote:

In a small pan combine the cherries and sugar and cook over a high heat for 5-10 minutes, until the cherries begin to break down. Then transfer to a small food processor and blend to form a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool.

The Cream:

Whisk the double cream until it forms stiff peaks, then mix in the icing sugar. Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a circular nozzle.

Assembling:

Cut a hole into the top of each cupcake, a few cm wide and deep. Fill with a heaped tsp of the cherry compote.

thumb_IMAG0614_1024 thumb_IMAG0615_1024 Pipe a swirl of the whipped cream onto the top of each cupcake, finish with the chocolate curls and a fresh cherry.

thumb_DSC05625_1024 Serve (with a fork!) and enjoy! thumb_DSC05629_1024

Advertisements

Cherry Chocolate Bakewell Tart

Crispy, chocolate pastry, filled with a layer of cherry jam, and a dark chocolate frangipane, topped with white chocolate decorations.

DSC04648

I’ve had a half full jar of cherry jam languishing at the back of my fridge for a while now, so I decided that this weekend I would have to use it up, and what better use for cherry jam than a bakwell tart!

A few years ago me and some friends stopped off at Bakwell after a day trip to Chatsworth Hall, and we all had a traditional Bakewell pudding. I was quite surprised at how different they were to the sickly sweet tarts, smothered in icing, that you can buy in most supermarkets and bakeries. So when I decided to make a bakewell tart,  I wanted to make something that was a bit more like the traditional one I had in Bakewell.

I couldn’t resist trying to mess with the recipe a little bit, and I thought that cherry and chocolate are such a good combination, that adding some cocoa powder to the pastry and frangipane must be a great idea, and I think I was right! The result is like a deliciously nutty cherry brownie, encased in crispy chocolatey pastry.

DSC04645

Variations: 

You could change the cherry jam to any kind you like, orange or raspberry would be nice, or you could exchange the jam for peanut butter!

You could also make a white chocolate version, by swapping the cocoa powder and milk in the frangipane with some melted white chocolate.

DSC04637

Ingredients:

The Pastry:

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 120g Butter
  • 1tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 1tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2-3tbsp Cold Water

The Filling:

  • 150g Cherry Jam
  • 120g Butter
  • 120g Caster Sugar
  • 150g Ground Almonds
  • 2 Eggs
  • 30ml Milk
  • 1tbsp Cocoa Powder

To Make:

The Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large tart dish.

Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then stir through the icing sugar and coca powder.

Mix in the water, bit at a time, until the mixture comes together in a ball.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll out as thin as possible, I usually aim for about a centimeter.

Transfer to pastry to the prepared dish and press into the grooves of the dish, trim off the overhanging edges and prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.

IMAG0250

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

The Filling:

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, then mix through the eggs, one at a time.

Fold in the ground almonds and coca powder and milk.

Spread the cherry jam over the bottom of the blind baked pastry case, then pour in the chocolate frangipane mixture. Smooth until flat, and then bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.

IMAG0252

Once cooked, remove from the oven and lave to cool.

Once the tart has cooled, transfer to a large plate or cake stand and decorate with some white chocolate shavings.

DSC04640

Valentines Day Cherry Marshmallow Brownie Sandwiches

Rich fudgy Chocolate brownies, cut into heart shapes, sandwiched together with sweet and fluffy cherry marshmallow frosting and topped with a white chocolate ganache.

DSC04149

I had a big chocolate craving the other day, so decided the best thing to do would be to make a nice batch of gooey chocolate brownies. I was also planning on making a valentines day themed dessert, so I thought I’d try and make by brownies a bit special by cutting them into heart shapes and sandwiching them together with a cherry marshmallow frosting to make them even more indulgent!

These do require a little more effort than normal brownies, but they look fantastic and will definitely impress!

DSC04147

Variations: The favour of the Marshmallow frosting could easily be changed by using a different fruit jam or even be changed to chocolate, for an extra-chocolaty treat. Alternatively, the brownies could be swapped for blondies, if you aren’t a big chocolate lover.

To make these even easier, they could just be sandwiched together with any flavour of standard buttercream!

DSC04152

Ingredients: Makes 6-8 sandwiches, depending how efficient you are with your cutter!

For the Brownies:

  • 330g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Plain Chocolate
  • 120g Butter
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 3 Eggs

For the Marshmallow Frosting:

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 50g Cherry Jam
  • 200g Sugar
  • 50ml Water
  • 1 Sachet of Powdered Gelatine

White Chocolate Ganache

  • 100g White Chocolate
  • 25ml Double Cream
  • 1tsp Pink Food Colouring.

DSC04154

To Make:

The Brownies:

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan over a low heat, and weigh out the caster sugar into a mixing bowl.

Once the chocolate mixture is melted, pour into the caster sugar and stir to combine

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.

Lastly, fold in the flour and pour into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated over for 30-35 minutes.

Leave to cool completely, then turn out onto a chopping board and cut out as many heart shapes as possible with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Whilst the Brownies are Cooling, make the Marshmallow Frosting:

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and then fold in the cherry jam.

Meanwhile heat the sugar and water in a pan until they reach 124°C on a sugar thermometer, this should take around 6-8 minutes. Then stir in the gelatine.

Slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites, whisking constantly, until all the syrup has been incorporated.

Continue whisking for a further 5 minutes, until the mixture is shiny, glossy and light.

Once the brownies are cooled, use the marshmallow frosting to sandwich two of the hearts together.

The White Chocolate Ganache.

Heat the cream and chocolate in a pan over a low heat until melted.

Coat the tops of the brownie sandwiches in the white chocolate mixture.

Colour the rest of the ganache with pink food colouring and drizzle over the top of the brownies to give a striped effect.

Leave the chocolate and marshmallow frosting to set, and then the brownies are ready to serve!

DSC04153