You Asked For It: Chocolate-covered Cherry-stuffed Cupcakes
Ellen Folkman | Special to the Times
Chocolate Covered Cherry Stuffed Cupcakes aer worth the effort.
I'm looking for a cupcake recipe for my daughter that has a cherry baked into the center. It's possibly a mini cupcake.
Nancy Jo Beardsley, Palm Harbor
The recipe Kelly Cook of Dunedin shares comes from the Fleur-de-licious blog (fleurdelicious.wordpress.com), written by two college students in New Orleans. It's a recipe Kelly has had in her to-make file but has not yet made. She hopes it's what Nancy Jo wants for her daughter, even though it's not a mini cupcake. This cupcake is moist and chocolaty and has a distinct cherry flavor. The cherry frosting generously frosts the 12 cupcakes and could probably frost another dozen. There are a few things that should be noted about the recipe. First, use paper liners. The chocolate around the cherry melts, helping to make the cupcake more flavorful and moist, but also gooey. When I removed them from the pan to cool they were soft on the bottom. I thought they might not be done but realized it was the chocolate from the candy. When you put the chocolate-covered cherry in the batter, it will not cover it. It will not get covered when it bakes either, leaving an indentation. That can easily be covered with the frosting. The cherry juice addition to the frosting leaves it pink. For the bittersweet chocolate I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips found in the baking section. I am not a fan of melting chocolate in the microwave and prefer to melt it on the stove. Melt it however you feel comfortable.
When I made the frosting I was worried the cherries would stain my cutting board so I put them in a ceramic dish and used my kitchen scissors to cut them up. If you decide to pipe the frosting, choose a tip with a large opening so the cherry chunks don't clog it. These cupcakes will last at least a day in the refrigerator, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Nancy Reynolds of Tampa would like a pie recipe she remembers from the time she worked at the Colonnade Restaurant on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa some 25 years ago. It was a pie offered on special occasions called a Hawaiian fruit pie. Nancy remembers it had a custardlike consistency and was filled with fruit and nuts. A phone call Nancy made to the restaurant revealed they have not made that pie in years. She would love the recipe. Kathy McIntyre of Ashtabula, Ohio, was recently in St. Petersburg and dined at ParkShore Grill. She enjoyed the lemon caper sauce served with the salmon. She would like the recipe.
Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, P.O. Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email email@example.com. Include your name, city and phone number.
© 2016 Tampa Bay Times
Chocolate-covered Cherry-stuffed Cupcakes
1 cup unbleached flour
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
12 chocolate-covered cherries, frozen for at least 30 minutes
For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
Pinch of salt
4 to 5 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice, from the jar
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional
About half the cherries in a 10-ounce jar of maraschino cherries, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle position. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, until it is completely combined and a little fluffy. Add the egg and the yolk, beating after each addition on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add half the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat again on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the rest of the dry ingredients, beating again until just combined. Add the melted and cooled chocolate, folding it in with a rubber spatula. The batter should be thick and smooth at this point.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Press a frozen chocolate-covered cherry into the center of each cupcake. It probably won't be covered with batter. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake until cupcakes are dry on top, about 22 to 25 minutes. Let cupcakes cook for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, salt and 4 tablespoons cherry juice (you can add more to taste later) on medium-high speed until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and beat on low speed at first until it's just incorporated. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat on low speed at first to avoid flying sugar, then gradually increase the speed, beating at medium-high speed until completely blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and almond extract, if using. Beat on high speed until lighter and fluffier, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped cherries and beat just until they are evenly distributed. Pipe or spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Source: Kelly Cook of Dunedin via fleurdelicious.wordpress.com