Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

I love their dark, glossy elegance - Nigella Lawson

I needed chocolate on the weekend. I wasn't making anything from this book that didn't have chocolate in it somewhere, so obviously I turned to the chocolate chapter and i was not disappointed. These are delicious!

The Verdict

Unusual or substituted ingredients -
Nigella recommends morello cherry jam. We looked, admittedly not extensively, but we couldn't find any. Sean, having grown up in the cherry capital of Australia, knew that morello cherry jam would be more tart than sweet, so we tried to find something like it. We didn't really succeed (well, you can't if you don't get to taste it first) so when I found the jam I bought (it was French) was quite sweet, I just used less sugar).

Special Utensils or Cookware - none. This is getting repetitive. I'm going to do a fancy recipe soon just so I can say yes! I needed to scour Canberra for this or that. These are made in muffin sized pans and I have those. So nothing special.

Repeatability - Try and stop me. I'll make these again for sure. They are rich, dense, quite heavy (see photo below for how they sank - is this an indication of heaviness? Anyone know how to remedy this?)

Sauciness - Oh these are very saucy. Especially once you dress them with icing which is boiled cream and melted dark chocolate. It goes on quite thin, then starts to thicken. I reckon next time I'd wait for it to cool a little to allow for easier moulding. Adding the glace cherry on top was just the perfect finishing touch. I'm not even a huge fan of them, but you couldn't not include them and they really added something.

Overall pleasure level - I thought these not-so-little cakes were divine. After my previous failure with cakes including jam in the recipe list, I was skeptical, but never let it be said I don't go back for attempts at learning from past mistakes! These are just wonderful. I had to try and offload them at work though because 12 of these naughty delights was just going to do us in entirely. At work, they were both loved and reviled as being too, too naughty.

That icing really is the best. Make them today! When the cream and chocolate on top goes all chewy and dense, it really is the best. I'm giving them 9, but am not expecting RoseRed to make them any time soon since she professed her loathing of all things cherry.