Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Black Forest Cupcakes.

Did you watch Eurovision? I did...for the first time in a few years. It was BRILLIANT, we had score cards, comment boxes and took our marking mighty seriously...obvs. I was SO rooting for Greece. If you didn't see their entry, sod this reading about cake malarky and look them up on YouTube IMMEDIATELY. That is an order.

We also had themed food...again, obvs. These cakes were my German entry, but were not neeeearly as impressively researched as our savoury offerings which were a significant nod to Azerbaijan. Ever had plov? I would recommend it.

I can't even remember the German musical entry...oh no, yep yep I was Cascada. In a very VERY ugly dress, and no, not even in a 'hey it's Eurovision, let's make a dress out of turtles' crazy fun type way, just in a boring ugly way. 

They should have entered these cakes instead because, while they aren't exotic and Azerbaijani, they are mighty tasty, and squodgy and rich and WAY easier than they look...the perfect party cake formula. But don't wait til next year to make them...or plov. Oh I wish Eurovision was once a MONTH...then we can all prove to Nigel Farage that we are all friends and that he should SHUUUSSSH. With Love and Cake.

Black Forest Cupcakes.
adapted from a BBC Food recipe

A few notes:
  • These are not light and airy sponges, but dense and aaaalllmost gooey cakes, so don't be sad if they sink a bit, it's just what they do.
  • If you don't have black cherry jam, you could use a jar of those lovely cherries in kirsch or brandy and  boil them with a bit of cornflour to thicken; keeping some of the alcohol aside to soak the cakes. 
  • I used the liquor I had left over from these bad boys, hence the specification for cherry brandy, but you could happily use kirsch, or perhaps just plain brandy.
Makes 12 
You will need

1 x 12 hole muffin or cupcake tray, lined with cupcake cases

For the cakes
125g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
125ml milk
100g dark chocolate, melted

For the filling
300ml double cream, lightly whipped
1/2 medium jar black cherry jam
8 tbsp cherry brandy

  • First we make the cakes. Preheat the oven to 170°.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold in until thoroughly combined.
  • Finally stir through the milk and melted chocolate.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until risen and fairly firm.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • While the cakes are cooling, pop the jam and 3 or 4 tablespoons of the cherry brandy in a small saucepan and heat gently until it starts to boil.
  • Let it bubble for a few minutes; until the liquid turns to a syrup. Set aside to cool.
  • When you're ready to assemble the cupcakes, all you need to do is slice or scoop the top off each cake, leaving a little well.
  • Spoon a teaspoon or so of cherry brandy into each well, followed by a good dollop of the whipped cream.
  • Pop the little round of cake that you cut out on top of the cream and spoon over some of the cherries in syrup.
  • Serve as soon as poss, or chill in the fridge if you want them extra fudgy.

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