I haven’t been able to bake in awhile. It has been rather hectic with job interviews, then getting a job, back and forth between Hastings and Wellington and then finally moving to Auckland and not moving into my own place straight away.
So last weekend, I took the opportunity to do a whole heap of baking to share with various people (including my new work colleagues), because 1) Man Piece was away and 2) I finally had a kitchen to call my own again.
I had also purchased a brand new cupcake stand the weekend before and was dying to put some actual cupcakes on it.
So flicking through the wonderful book that is the Australian Women’s Weekly: cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies I found the black forest cupcakes. They sounded delicious and something I hadn’t tried before.
cherry chocolate mud cake
425g can pitted cherries in syrup
165g butter, chopped coarsely
100g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
1 1/3 cups (295g) sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) cherry brandy
1 cup (150g) plain flour
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Line 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
2. Drain cherries; reserve syrup. Process 1/2 cup (110g) cherries with 1/2 cup (125ml) of the syrup until smooth. Halve remaining cherries; reserve for decorating cakes. (The recipe says to discard remaining syrup, but I did not have cherry brandy and didn’t want to go and buy any either, so used the equivalent of syrup instead of brandy)
3. Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, brandy and cherry puree in small saucepan; stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer mixture to medium bowl; cool 15 minutes.
4. Whisk in sifted flours and cocoa, then egg. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface. (The mixture is very wet, I ended up using a small measuring jug to pour the mixture into the cases.)
5. Bake about 45 minutes. Turn cakes onto wire rack to cool.
6. Decorate cakes. (In the original recipe, you would top the cakes with the cherry halves and combine 2/3 cup thickened cream with 2 teaspoons cherry brandy, then with a vegetable peeler make chocolate curls to sprinkle over the cakes. I just made some basic butter creme icing and added the halved cherries and spread over the cakes.)
Don’t they just look divine? They tasted pretty good too.