Recipe for Friday, February 24th, 2012:
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes with Cherry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe via Confections of a Foodie Bride
Prep time: unknown
Bake time: 20 minutes
Serves: 18 cupcakes
Ingredients [Chocolate Covered Cherries]:
- 36 fresh cherries
- 6 oz chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate, divided
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cups hot water
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Baking spray
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1/3 cup cherry puree (about 1 dozen pitted fresh cherries processed in a small food processor or blender)
(A conversion table can be found here.)
To make the chocolate-covered cherry centers, stem and pit 18 cherries. Melt half of the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. When completely melted, stir in the pitted cherries until completely coated. Transfer cherries to a piece of wax paper or a plastic wrap-covered plate. Refrigerate.
Melt the other half of the chocolate and dip the remaining 18 cherries into it, scraping the bottom before setting on a piece of wax paper or a plastic wrap-covered plate.
Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 cupcake pans with 18 liners.
Whisk together cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. Melt butter in the microwave and transfer to the mixer bowl. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cocoa-powder mixture. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with yogurt in one batch. Beat until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Toss the chocolate-covered cherry centers (pitted and stemmed) with 1 Tbsp flour. Set on the top of the batter. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the cake tops bounce back when lightly tapped. Cool 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from the pans.
Make frosting: Whisk the egg whites and sugar over a simmering pot of water until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Transfer to a stand mixer and whisk on high 10 minutes, until the meringue reaches room temperature (the bowl should feel neutral/barely warm when touched). Add butter, a few cubes at a time until all butter is mixed in. Beat in the cherry puree.
Frost the cupcakes and top each frosted cupcake with a chocolate-covered cherry.