For the most recent meeting of Cake Club I made chocolate cherry cupcakes, garnished with suitably ghoulish bloody eyeballs. The recipe I used is a simple Nigella recipe, and the resulting cupcakes were delicious. A nice soft cake with a deep, dark fruity flavour from the use of cherry jam in the mix. Nigella topped her cupcakes with cherries, but I chose eyeballs (made of chocolate) instead, to fit in with the Halloween theme.
Cherry & Chocolate Cupcakes (Halloween style)
- 125gm soft unsalted butter
- 100gm dark chocolate (I used the Sainsbury’s basics chocolate found in the confectionary aisle – 30p for 100gm and rich in cocoa, perfect for baking)
- 300gm morello cherry jam (I used Sainsbury’s reduced sugar morello cherry jam)
- 150gm golden caster sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 150gm SR flour
For the icing:
- 100gm dark chocolate
- 100ml double cream
- Box of Lindt truffle balls (I used milk chocolate)
- 200gm white chocolate
- Red and blue food dye to decorate
- 4 tbsps raspberry jam
- Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 12-cup muffin tray with cupcake cases.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When nearly fully melted, stir in the broken dark chocolate, leave to warm for one minute, then remove from heat. Stir until smooth and combined.
- Add the cherry jam, sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. Lightly beat the eggs and then add these too.
- Lightly stir in the flour, and then spoon into the prepared cupcake cases.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. When they look ready, take them out and leave the pan to cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, before turning out the cupcakes.
- Once cool, prepare the icing.
- Break the dark chocolate into squares, and put in a saucepan with the cream. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and stir til smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk until thickened.
- Spread this on the top of the cupcakes using a spoon, and then top with one of your chocolate eyeballs.
To make the eyeballs, melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Zap it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each blast, to ensure it doesn’t burn, and instead reaches a nice runny consistency.
Using two teaspoons, drop the unwrapped lindt balls into the chocolate one at a time, and roll around to cover, before scooping out gently, and placing on some greaseproof baking paper to set.
After the chocolate had hardened, I was planning on using my newly purchased (from eBay) sugar art pens in red and black to draw on the eyes.
Unfortunately the pens didn’t seem to work properly on the white chocolate surface, and dried out, meaning only two of the eyeballs were done before they stopped working.
After a few minutes of panic, I decided to instead use red and blue gel food dyes to create the eyeball effect, and they worked pretty well. I applied the dye with the end of a toothpick, drawing the red outline first, then dabbing blue in the centre.
To create some blood for oozing out of the eyeballs, I placed the raspberry jam in a strainer over a bowl, to remove the seeds. The smooth liquid that resulted, was then dropped onto each eyeball, running down the side onto the cake, to create a ‘bloody’ effect.
This is a very useful chocolate cupcake recipe to have on hand – very easy to make, and they taste delicious. You can use a similar recipe with other flavours such as orange, raspberry or apricot, using the relevant replacement jam in the mix. I think I’ll try apricot next.
Happy baking x