chocolate and cherry Valentine cupcakes

(inspired by Roz Cummins, liberally adapted from Rombauer & Becker’s Devil’s Food Cake Cockaigne)

My beloved was going to make me a chocolate cake for valentine’s day but was too utterly pooped, so I made him chocolate cherry cupcakes. I couldn’t find a recipe that was just right so I hauled out the Joy of Cooking and made some up just right.

Prepare chocolate cherry custard:

140 g (5 oz) chocolate, 85% cocoa
300 mL (1¼ cups) milk
135 g (160 mL, ⅔ cup) brown sugar
1 egg yolk (set the white aside in a glass bowl to beat later)
500 g (500 mL, 2 cups) frozen cherries

Heat chocolate, milk and sugar in a double boiler until chocolate is melted. Mix in egg yolk and continue cooking until slightly thickened. Stir in cherries. Set aside.

Prepare dry ingredients:

180 g (350 mL, 1½ cups) whole wheat flour
90 g (120 mL, ½ cup) cocoa
7 mL (1½ t) baking powder
3 mL (½ t) salt

Combine all dry ingredients, sifting if necessary to break up lumps of cocoa.

Prepare butter cream in a large bowl:

115 g (120 mL, ½ cup) butter
100 g (120 mL, ½ cup) sugar
2 egg yolks (add the whites to the glass bowl with the other)
5 mL (1 t) almond extract

Beat the butter until soft. Add sugar and cream until light. Beat in egg yolks and almond extract.

Add dry ingredients and chocolate-cherry custard to butter cream. Mix thoroughly.

Lick the beaters, wash them with soap and hot water, rinse well and proceed to whip the egg whites, stabilizing them toward the end with:

2 mL (¼ t) cream of tartar

Fold half the egg whites into the batter. Fold in the other half of the egg whites. Bake in silicone cupcake cups or muffin tins at 180C (350F) for 25 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.

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