Sunday, January 27, 2019

Legit Black Forest Cupcakes

These aren't your typical Black Forest Cupcakes. Forget the bright red maraschino cherries and bland whipped topping - this rich chocolate cake is enhanced by espresso, dark sweet cherries, and cherry kirsch (aka booze). I've made these with a couple variations over the years but I think I have decided that this is my go-to favorite version. Feel free to adjust the amount of coffee and alcohol in the filling and frosting to your desired tastes.

Not gonna lie, these take a hot minute to bake and assemble so some planning ahead is required, however, because they are soaked with boozy cherry goodness, they stay nice and moist in the fridge for up to a week!

Authentic Black Forest Cupcakes

For the cake...
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's Special Dark)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups strong brewed divided coffee
3 large eggs
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, 1 cup coffee, and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla (batter will be on the thinner side).
3. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, for 16 to 18 minutes. Let them cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

For the filling...
2-3 TBS kirsch
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups icing sugar
1 pinch salt
1⁄4 cup espresso (cooled to room temperature)
1⁄2 lbs fresh pitted black cherries (can use thawed frozen if they're not in season)

In a bowl beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar, salt, and coffee and mix well. If the icing is too thick add Kirsch or cherry juice.
Cut the cherries into halves.

For the topping...
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1⁄2 tsp vanilla
2-3 TBS kirsch
2 TBS dry milk
2-3 TBS icing sugar

The day you're going to serve this cake prepare the icing. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
Gently fold in the dry milk and icing sugar. Add the vanilla and pour in the Kirsch until it's a good consistency.

To assemble:
Using a small knife or cupcake corer
make a hole in the center of each cake and fill with around 1 TBS of filling. Top with the cake centers to make the top smooth and even for frosting. Frost each using desired tip (or spatula) and dust with cocoa powder and cherry when ready to serve. Store in fridge for up to 7 days.

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