Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest cake is a popular cake sold at bakeries in Germany. It was also one of my first projects at CCA when I was studying pastry arts back in 2000. It is amazing how cherries and chocolate complement beautiful in this cake.

This version is way simpler but as flavorful as the original one. The cupcakes sink slighter in the oven after they bake. This make easier to fill them with cherries. They are very moist!

Black Forest Cupcakes
adapted from My Family Table by John Besh 
  • One 15-ounce can pitted sweet cherries in syrup (I used a combination of Italian amarena cherries and cherries preserved in liquor posted in my facebook page)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar (I used 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cherry brandy (I used porto)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (I reduced the baking powder to 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • Dark chocolate, shaved into curl with a vegetable peeler (I ended grating it)
  • Fresh cherries for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Drain the cherries, reserving the cherries and syrup separately. Combine the chopped chocolate, sugar, butter, and the 1/4 cup brandy in a saucepan. Over low heat, stir until the chocolate has melted (I used a double boiler to prevent the chocolate burning). 

Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the egg. Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder into a small bowl, then fold gently into the chocolate mixture. 

Fit 12 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with non-stick oil. Pour the batter evenly into each cup. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon brandy with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and stir into the whipped cream. 
Cut a quarter-size hole into the top of each cupcake and fill with canned cherries, Frost with the whipped cream and top with shaved chocolate, and a fresh cherry. 

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