Sunday, November 29, 2009

Once upon a time there was... Black Forest Cupcakes

Cornelius and I have a friend who really likes Germany - the place, the culture, the food, etc. So for her birthday last year we baked her a very impressive black forest cake, or as she and the Germans would say schwarzwalderkirschtorte. Right, so black forest cake. For her birthday this year, we decided to turn this classic recipe into a cupcake recipe. Well, as it turned out, someone else had already thought of that idea and put it into a book. So, we mostly followed that recipe, but we made a few changes of our own too. Here is our recipe for black forest cupcakes.

1 2/3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 c (preferably Scharffen Berger) cocoa powder
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c whole milk
2 tsp + 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c + 1 Tbsp kirsch
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 c powdered sugar
1 can pitted or maraschino cherries
grated dark chocolate

1. drain cherries (reserve juice for another purpose, Shirley Temples perhaps?). Add 1/2 c. kirsch to cherries jar. Soak at least 1/2 hour to overnight.
Cal's tip: we soaked these overnight. Eating a cherry was like taking a shot of alcohol. So, your choice as to how long you soak them...

2. preheat oven to 350.

3. mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa together.

4. cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. alternate adding milk and flour mixture. Add vanilla. beat well.

5. fill cupcake papers about 2/3.

6. bake until done, about 25 minutes. cool completely on wire rack.
Cal's tip: it is important that the cupcakes are completely cooled. We made the cakes the night before and came back and did the remaining steps the following day.

7. remove the cupcakes from the wrappers. Cut each one in 1/2 horizontally.
Cal's tip: we recommend using a pairing knife that you let sit in a cup of hot water between uses.

8. Use a pastry brush to brush both sides of the cake lightly with the kirsch from your cherry jar.

9. make the frosting. Whip cream until it forms soft peaks. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and kirsch. Whip until stiff.

10. Spread some whipped cream on top of the bottom 1/2 of the cupcakes.
Cal's tip: we found it helpful to put our whipped cream in a pastry bag.

11. Cut a cherry in 1/2 and press both halves into the cream.
Cal's tip: be sure to properly ration your cherries!

12. Top with the top 1/2 of the cupcakes.

13. Frost with whipped cream and a cherry. Sprinkle with grated chocolate.

14. Observe the glory of the giant towering cupcake! eat!

Yes, this was truly a fantastic cupcake.


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