BEST BLACK FOREST CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES


Ingredients
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
  • 130  g  (1 cup / 4.5oz) plain (all purp) flour
  • 1/2  cup  (40g / 1.4oz) dutch processed cocoa (or plain unsweetened)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda (bicarb)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 113  g  (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2  cup  (100g / 3.5oz) caster sugar
  • 1/2  cup  (100g / 3.5oz) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2  eggs, room temp
  • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 3/4  cup  buttermilk, room temp

FOR THE CHERRY JAM
  • 3 cups frozen cherries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (notes)

FOR THE CREAMY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all purp) flour (notes)
  • 115 g (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 g cream cheese, softened

TO FINISH
  • 100 g dark (50%) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 12 fresh cherries (notes)

Instructions
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line your muffin tins with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined... just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy-handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.
  5. Fill the cupcake cases only to about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for around 18-20 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven halfway through to make sure they bake evenly. When a toothpick inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.
  6. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

FOR THE CHERRY JAM
  1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t catch, for around 20 minutes or until the liquid has almost disappeared. Allow to cool

FOR THE CREAMY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the milk, half of the sugar and the flour. Continue to heat and whisk regularly for another 3-4 minutes until you have a very thick paste (like glue).
  2. Transfer it to a plate, spread it out to about 1cm thick, then cover it with plastic wrap pressing the plastic wrap to the surface. Place in the freezer for around 25 minutes until cool (not cold or frozen, but no longer warm).
  3. Beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium for about 5 minutes or until very light and creamy - scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often.
  4. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined and smooth (only about 1 minute). Now add the milk paste mixture 1/3 at a time, beating for about 30 seconds between each. On the last one, beat for a minute, still on medium. Again, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.

TO FINISH
  1. Place the cherry jam into a plastic piping bag and chop off the end. Pipe around a teaspoon into the holes of each cupcake.
  2. Transfer the cream cheese frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the top of your cupcakes. Place in the fridge while you make the ganache.
  3. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof dish. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until its bubbling, then pour it over the chocolate. Give the dish a gentle shake so all the chocolate is submerged. Leave for a few minutes, then stir to a smooth glossy ganache. Transfer to a small squeeze bottle and squeeze gently over the top of your cupcakes, letting some drizzle down the side. Place in the fridge to set for 1/2 an hour before topping with cherries and serving.

This article and recipe adapted from this site

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