Now came the hard part. What to bake? She had seen my many different creations here. However, I didn't want to repeat past cuppies. I think my favorite thing about baking is the opportunity to try new things. To create.
She loves chocolate & cherries. I love chocolate & cherries. I had never baked these before. So we had a winner! Plus, I can't help but think of her when I think of chocolate and cherries.
You see there is a diet that she does. On occasion you have to do a "steak & apple" day. Well, my mom needed to have a steak and apple day, but she had a little problem. She had no apples. So instead of just eating the steak or say, steak and an orange, she ate steak & chocolate covered cherries. And guess what? When she weighed in the next day, she had lost over 2 lbs. What a brat, right?
The base is a moist yet sturdy chocolate cake. Call me lazy but I used cherry pie filling for the center. The top is my trusty homemade whipped cream which you can find the recipe to here. I used a fine grater to grate semisweet chocolate and dusted the cream with them. Then I topped it with a sweet, shiny red maraschino cherry. Winning combination!!! Loved by all who tried them.
I also made another variation that I will post later, but my mom & Duke both preferred these jewels.
Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee you that she lost no weight the day after eating these. That's okay though. The weather has been pretty rainy & we're not planning on breaking out the bikinis just yet!
Chocolate & cherry cupcakes-yields approx 18 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups (180 g/6 oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups (275 g/10 oz) sugar
1/2 cup (60 g/2 oz) dark cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark)
1 1/4 teaspoons (6 g) baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons (5 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
75 mL (2.5 liquid oz) vegetable oil
140 mL (5 liquid oz) buttermilk
130 mL (4.5 liquid oz) espresso or strong, hot brewed coffee
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla (I use Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract)
Approx 1/2 can a cherry pie filling. I had plenty left over.
1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Line cupcake pans with 18 liners.
2. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. If possible, use digital kitchen scale and weigh pans for even layers. Batter will be liquidy.
3. Bake for 18-20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean–approximately 30 minutes. Try not to over bake.
4. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
5. After cupcakes are cooled cone out the center and spoon cherry pie filling in the center. (I found 3-4 cherries fit well). You can replace the topper that you cut out or just omit the topper all together. It makes for good munching.
6. Top with whipped cream and dust with chocolate shavings & top with the cherry.