Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Coconut Cherry Cupcakes

Mmm cherries and chocolate, my 2 favorite things to find in a cake!

I'm such a bad blogger at the moment, sorry!  I had a busy week or so sorting out an exciting new work/business thing (sadly not food related), and then I was ill yet again.  I know, I know, thats all I've said lately and I promise it won't be said at all in my next post! 

So, moving on to the food.  I've made a few new recipes lately, all of which I promise to upload over the next week or two.  The first of which was these coconut cherry cupcakes with added chocolate chunks, complete with milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate decorations.  Why I've never made chocolate ganache before I have no idea but it is amazing, I am converted.  Then I made iced marshmallow coconut cookies, which were a bit of a disaster looks wise but tasted great.  Then a few days ago I finally got round to making brownies, from a recipe I found on the BBCs website which had great reviews, and it definatly lived up to its hype. 
Finally today I've made more lemon cupcakes, I had to make sure my finished recipe was still good and not just a first time fluke.  I scooped out the middle and added a dollop of lemon curd and then topped with lemon buttercream and decorated with lemon zest.  Well if you're going to go lemon then you might as well use as much as possible!

As well as it being my first time making a ganache, it was also the first time I've ever piped chocolate.  I've kind of avoided it before, thinking it would be too fiddly and messy, that the chocolate would cool and harden before I'd even done anything.  My hands can also go quite shakey when I'm trying to do anything that requires a steady hand!  But it was surprisingly easy and the chocolate stayed melted in the bag.  I'll be the first to admit that the decorations aren't anything special but I'm pretty pleased for my first try.

Coconut Cherry Cupcakes from The Complete Book of Cupcakes, Cheesecakes and Cookies

For the cake:
125g butter, softened
1/2 tsp coconut essence
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
80ml milk
40g desiccated coconut
70g glace cherries, roughly chopped
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150g self raising flour
35g plain flour

For the ganache:
60ml cream
100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

For the decorations:
150g white chocolate buttons
Desiccated coconut to sprinkle

1. Preheat your oven to 180c (160c fan forced) and line a muffin pan with paper cases.  I got 12 cupcakes out of this recipe using muffin size cases.
2.  Beat butter, essence, sugar and eggs in a small bowl until combined.
3.  Stir in the milk, coconut, cherries and chocolate.  Then stir in the sifted flours.
4.  Divide amongst cases, smoothing the surface of each.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the cake comes out clean (bar any melted chocolate).
5.  Make the ganache.  Bring the cream to the boil in a small pan, then pour oven the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.  Stir until smooth.  Cover the bowl and allow to stand at room temperature until it is of a spreadable consistency.
6.  Melt the white chocolate (either in the microwave at 10 second bursts, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water) and spoon into a piping bag.
7.  Pipe different sized hearts (or any other shape you want) onto a tray covered with a sheet of baking paper.  Pop the tray into the fridge until the chocolate has set.
8.  Spread each cupcake with ganache and decorate with your chocolate hearts, sprinkle with a little coconut.
Coconut Cherry Cupcakes