Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

I've never had much of a sweet tooth. Place a bowl of Doritos in front of me and a bowl of M&M's and I'll choose the chips any day. However, I love to bake. I've mentioned this before but there's just something about whipping up a decadent cake, placing it in the oven, and removing it, 30 minutes later, all gorgeous and fragrant, the smell wafting through the house

With baking, you don't have to think much. Unless you are adapting the recipe (making it healthier, sugar-free, whatever), you can follow the recipe to a T, and know it'll turn out. I like to bake when I've got a lot on my mind and I wanna just zone out for an hour or so. And I usually end up relaxed and calm by the end of the process. Whatever works, right? 

I also rarely bake full-fat recipes. I enjoy the process of making decadent treats healthier, either by subbing in some whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour, or swapping some of the oil for yogurt or apple sauce. These are easy tricks that work and that ultimately make your indulgence a little less so. 

I always bake in eveningwear, don't you?
But there is something to be said for going whole-hog once in a while, too. Everything in moderation, even moderation, I say. So, a few weeks ago, I pulled out one of my favorite, decadent cookbooks, Nigella Lawson's 'How To Be a Domestic Goddess'. I mean, you gotta love this book if only for the title. Who wouldn't want to be a domestic goddess? I love Nigella but she's not one of my go-to girls. Her recipes are far from healthy and usually more complicated than I'd like. But damn is she sexy. I digress, though...

So I ended up making her chocolate cherry cupcakes. They were divine. Totally yummy. Yes, they had way too much butter and sugar for my liking but they were just what the doctor ordered. I ended up taking a bunch to a friend's party and they were devoured within seconds. I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to reprint the recipe here, but I'll do it anyway. I can imagine these would be great for breakfast as well, with a nice, strong cuppa joe! 

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Reprinted from Nigella Lawson's 'How To Be a Domestic Goddess'
Makes 12
The bits of cherry were yum. 

for the cupcakes:
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 1/3 cups morello cherry jam (or any cherry jam)
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup self-rising cake flour

for the frosting*:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a pan, and then stir in chocolate until combined. Add the jam, sugar, salt and eggs. When all is nice and mixed, add the flour. Divide among a greased muffin tin, and bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and then place muffins on a cooling rack (or a plate if you don't have). 

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by combining all ingredients in a bowl, preferably with a mixer (by hand can be a lot of work). Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost and place a cherry upon each. 

*For some reason, Nigella's frosting didn't work for me. It didn't combine as I wanted and I threw it out. I used the recipe above, by Giada instead. But really, you can use any chocolate frosting recipe you'd like. 


  1. These look delicious! Nigella annoys me - that plummy accent makes me want to shake her - but she does know her stuff int he kitchen. (PS. Found your blog, am loving it, hope you're well!)

  2. Hi Emily! So good to have you stop by the blog! And so cool that you're from Chile, welcome!

    Yeah Nigella is kind of a know-it-all:)

    All the best!


  3. Haha, glad I checked back to see if you'd responded - I'm not from Chile, you know me, we went to middle/high school together, and I live here now :)

  4. Hi Emily!

    Can't believe I didn't respond to this. I thought I did! Apologies!

    Wow, Chile that's awesome! So nice to reconnect! Maybe I'll see you at our ten year reunion? :)

    All the best!


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