Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chocolate + Raspberry = Heaven

I know everyone has been mad at me for not posting in a while, I've noticed a trend myself that every other month is when I post new recipes, and I swear that I'll be better. One of the reasons I've been mia is that I've had quite a few changes lately. I've gotten a second job, became single, I got a new car about a week ago that I absolutely love, I decided to move to florida (which will allow me to blog more because I'm moving in with my Grandparents and I've already told my Grandmother that they're are going to be forced to eat my cooking) in about a month and a few weeks, and my birthday was just over a week ago and I turned 20! Proud to say that I am no loner a teenager, but still not old enough to go the bars with my friends, sadly.
I've noticed that I've been making more cupcakes than cookies in the past months, which is weird because I've always been more of a cookie person. Maybe cookies are my fall-winter dessert and cupcakes are my spring-summer dessert? Whatever the reason I stumbled upon this Chocolate raspberry cupcake recipe and I couldn't wait to try it out! And what a better occasion than my birthday?
Now, before I take all the credit, my good friend Joanna offered to help me with the hard parts so while I made and baked the cupcakes, she was an angel sent from God, and made the filling and the chocolate ganache, AND filled and frosted them while I cooked other stuff. So special thanks to Joanna, for helping me make these in half the time it would have taken me.
This recipe makes so many cupcakes that I have a lot left over so I'm taking some to work with me tonight and to my aunt and uncles house as well.
I got this recipe from Tracey's Culinary Adventures. And let me just say that these cupcakes are the best that I've ever made or had. They are so moist and the raspberry filling is so delicious. Let's just say these cupcakes are a must try!
Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
makes about 40 cupcakes
3 ounces of semisweet chocolate, (I used some semisweet chocolate chips that we had at the house)
1 1/2 cups of hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raspberry Filling
1 12oz bad of frozen raspberries, (thawed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Chocolate Ganache
12oz of bittersweet chocolate, (finely thawed)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup 
3 tablespoons butter, (softened) 

Part I: Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line your cupcake pans with the liners.
Put the chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.
Pour the hot coffee over the chocolate and let it sit until the chocolate is melted and then whisk until smooth.
In a large bowl, but not in your mixer, whisk the dry ingredients together.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat together your eggs.
On medium speed, add the all the wet ingredients, including the chocolate mixture, until they are well blended.
Add the dry ingredients about a half a cup at a time and leave on medium speed until incorporated.
Fill the paper liners about 3/4 full, (I used the 1/2 cup measuring cup to do so), and bake for 18-20 minutes, until you can pull out a clean toothpick.
Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Part II: Raspberry Filling
Put the raspberries into a food processor, (or if you don't have one like myself, your blender) and process until smooth.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sleeve into a small saucepan to remove the seeds, using a rubber spatula to push it through.
Add the sugar and cornstarch to the pan, whisking to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking often.
When it reached a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
Let cool before filling the cupcakes.

Part III: Chocolate Ganache
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
Combine the cream, corn syrup, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Immediately pour the mixture from the saucepan over the chocolate once you've reached the boil and let it sit until the chocolate is melted.
Whisk together until smooth, then add the butter one tablespoon at a time, whisking until completely combined.
Let the mixture stand at room temperature to thicken before topping the cupcakes.

Part IV: Assembly
To fill the cupcakes with the raspberry filling you can either use a pastry bag and insert the tip and fill the cupcakes that way or you can core the cupcakes with a paring knife and fill them using a spoon, Joanna tried both and found that the later was the most efficient option.
Spread the ganache over the top and you can add a raspberry on top for an extra touch.
I kept the cupcakes in the fridge, they taste quite good cool. Trust me, it's a lot of work, but they are sooooo worth it in the end.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes.

I found this recipe for root beer float cupcakes by How Sweet It Is, and I could not wait to make them, I had seen root beer concentrate at the store a few times and always wondered what I could make with it.
The recipe only makes a dozen cupcakes so it's perfect for a day like this, dark and stormy so you can stay home and enjoy them with your family (or for yourself). My mom was worried about the root beer- chocolate combination but the cupcakes sure did disappear fast while I was at work...
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
makes 1 dozen
1 1/8 cups flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4  cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 teaspoons root beer concentrate
1/3 cup root beer
1/2 cup & 1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat the oven to 359
In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and there isn't any lumps left. Add cream, butter and vanilla, mix until combines.
Sir in sour cream
Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.
Add root beer concentrate and root beer. Mix until batter is smooth
Line a muffin tin with liners
Using a heaping 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each liner.
Bake 15-18 minutes
Let them cool completely before frosting!

Vanilla & Root Beer Frosting
1 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon root beer extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
On low speed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, increasing speed to bring the frosting together.
Then, add the milk and vanilla, beat until smooth.
Remove almost all the vanilla frosting, leave behind about 1/2 of a cup in the mixer.
Set aside the vanilla frosting.
Add the root beer extract to the remaining frosting and beat until it comes together.
Prep two pastry bags or spoons will work too, fill one with each frosting and wait until the cupcakes have completely cooled.
Fill each cupcake with the root beer frosting and frost the tops with the vanilla.
Add hot fudge or chocolate syrup on the tops for the perfect touch.