Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

One of my friends celebrated a big birthday recently, and I made her cupcakes to celebrate. I wanted them to be special, exciting, and delicious. She likes chocolate and raspberry, so I decided on a vegan chocolate cupcake stuffed with chocolate raspberry ganache and topped with raspberry buttercream. I also wanted them to look super girly and pretty, so I decorated them with pink edible pearls and sparkling white sanding sugar and baked them in zebra-striped cupcake liners. These cupcakes were rich and sweet. The bittersweet ganache in the center was a nice surprise and a perfect complement to the sweet raspberry buttercream.

Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
(makes 12 cupcakes)

1 and 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups water 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In another bowl, beat together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water with a hand mixer on medium-high speed. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake about 20–25 minutes.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

4 oz. chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Simmer the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot and simmering. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for one minute. Stir until silky and smooth. Add butter and raspberry preserves and stir until combined. Let cool for a few minutes.

Raspberry Buttercream
2 sticks salted butter (room temperature) 
3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1 - 2 tablespoons water or milk (or any other liquid)

Beat the butter on high speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low-medium speed and add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add raspberry preserves and water, until desired consistency is reached. Beat well.

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