I remember going for black forest cake and soda with my aunt and cousin when I was a little girl. Ever since then have I loved the tanginess the cherries add to the rich chocolate dough. What I find even more special about black forest cake is that it brings back memories. These cupcakes make beautiful, individual masterpieces.
The recipe is taken from Cupcake Heaven by Susannah Blake (my all-time favorite cupcake cookbook. The recipes are straightforward and direct and do not take me more than fifteen or twenty minutes to prepare. The photography by Martin Brigdale is also wonderfully scrumptious.
Black Forest Cupcakes
90g dark chocolate, chopped
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
115g caster sugar
2 tablespoons ground almonds
150g self raising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons kirsch or cranberry juice
50g glace cherries, halved
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped, plus extra to decorate
100ml double cream
1 tablespoon kirsch or cranberry juice
12 glace cherries.
Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Leave until almost melted, then set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the melted chocolate, then stir in the almonds. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold in, followed by the kirsch/cranberry juice and the glace cherries.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To decorate, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until almost boiling, then pour over the chocolate and leave to melt for about five minutes. Stir until smooth and creamy, then stir in the kirsch/cranberry juice and leave to cool for about one hour until think and glossy. Spread the frosting over the cakes and top with a glace cherry. Using a vegetable peeler, make some chocolate shavings with the extra dark chocolate and pop them on top of the cakes.
I recommend making the chocolate topping first as it has to cool for around one hour. While it's cooling you can make the cupcakes. Just remember not to put the chocolate topping on the cupcakes while they're still hot. It will melt and then your efforts will be somewhat spoiled. What I did was add a little whipped double cream over the chocolate topping and under the cherry and chocolate shavings, as was shown in the photograph adjacent to the recipe.