As sweet as love's first kiss, our chocolate and cherry cupcake is special. One bite and you'll fall in love, and all with a cherry on top!
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 cups boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
Paper baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray
24 milk chocolate kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons cherry jam or maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
24 red maraschino cherries (with stems)
1 cup whipping cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cocoa and 2 cups boiling water in a large heatproof bowl, stirring until blended and smooth; cool completely. Beat butter with a mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate extract.
Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not cool.
While cupcakes are still warm, press 1 chocolate kiss into the center of each. Let cool completely.
To prepare cherry frosting, beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Makes 3 cups.
Frost each cupcake with Cherry Frosting using metal tip no. 2D.
To prepare ganache, cook cream in a heavy nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until it begins to steam (do not boil); remove from heat. Place chocolate in a glass bowl. Slowly add hot cream to chocolate, beating with a whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is well blended. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Makes about 2 cups.
Dip cherries in Chocolate Ganache, and place 1 on top of each cupcake.
Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes; Dreamcakes Bakery
My review is only for the frosting. The flavor and color were excellent. I wish there had been a little more detail on the method. I have never made a buttercream with the addition of cream. Although my butter was softened (for about 30 minutes), when I added the cream, I was concerned that the frosting was going to "break". I started to wonder if I was supposed to whip the cream first and fold in, instead. It finally did come together but it also looked slightly broken when I put it on the cake. I immediately refrigerated my frosted cake and I think that helped to firm everything up, but I was quite nervous during the process since I needed the cake right away with no room for error! I will definitely make this again but may soften the butter for a few hours or bring the cream to room temperature.
They turned out great! I just didn't add the Hershey's Kiss because I knew that as soon as the cupcakes cooled then so would the Kiss. Which meant there would be a hard chunk of chocolate in my gooey cupcakes, and that would not be a good thing. Oh, and I also put a ton of cherry jam in the frosting. Way more than 3 tbs.