Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day. Oh, how I love it. Not because I’m into all that mushy stuff, most of the time the husband and I just cook a special dinner and dessert at home and spend some time together. That is my perfect Valentine’s Day.

As usual, Chad was in charge of planning and making dinner and I took care of the dessert. I decided to make cupcakes, knowing that Chad could take the extras to work with him.

I wanted to do something with chocolate and cherries, so the idea for this cupcake was born! It’s basically a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate cherry mousse. Yum!

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Mousse

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons of cherry juice (drained from a jar of maraschino cherries–save cherries for later)
4 large eggs separated into yolks and whites (at room temperature)
A pinch of sugar

For the Cupcake:

**If you are going to make your cake from scratch, I personally LOVE this recipe from Hershey’s.** If you’re short on time, like I was, buy a box mix and doctor it.

1 box chocolate cake mix
The ingredients stated on the back of the box
1/4 cup cherry juice

For the Icing

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Mousse

1) Melt chocolate with 3 Tablespoons of cherry juice over double boiler on medium heat.

2) Once chocolate has melted and juice has been incorporated, set chocolate aside to cool.

3) When chocolate has cooled to room temperature, add the egg yolks and mix well.

4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and sugar on medium high heat until stiff peaks form.

5) Mix 1/4 of the egg white mixture into cooled chocolate. Mix until completely combined.

6) Add the rest of the egg whites and fold in gently just until there are no longer any visible streaks. Refrigerate for three or four hours.

 

For the Cake

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Make cake mix as directed on box, but sub in 1/4 cup of cherry juice for part of the water. I just poured the cherry juice into a measuring cup up to the 1/4 cup mark, then filled it the rest of the way with the water to make the total amount of liquid called for in the recipe.

3) Bake cupcakes 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

4) Let cupcakes cool.

 

For the Icing

1) Melt butter and stir in cocoa. Add powdered sugar and milk, beating to a spreadable consistancy.

2) Stir in vanilla. Add extra milk to thin, if needed.

 

To assemble the cupcakes

1) Take each cupcake and fill with mousse. I usually just put the filling in a pastry bag, insert the decorating tip into the cupcake, and fill until cupcake plumps up. This time, I used the cone method so I could put a cherry in the middle as well. To do that, cut circles out of the tops of the cupcakes and hollow out a small hole. Fill with mousse and one cherry. Replace the circle top and frost cupcakes. The frosting covers up the cut out circle and it looks beautiful! Add sprinkles and extra cherries to the top!

 

They were a little bit of work, but these cupcakes were delicious! A perfect Valentine’s treat. And I had some mousse left over, which was equally amazing by itself.

You can easily make this into a cake instead of cupcakes. Just bake the cake mix in two round cake pans, use mouse and cherries as filling, and frost!

 

The icing recipe came from the above Hershey’s link.
The mousse was adapted from this recipe by Michael Chiarello and this blog recipe from The Cook’s Corner.

 

 


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