After I tire of practicing medicine, I have decided that my “retirement” will be baking. When I was in medical school and we had study sessions, I would always bring a basket of homemade baked goods to each group meeting. The fact that I was constantly baking my study-mates something earned me the nickname of “Cupcake Queen.” I was the most sought after study group member of my class and with good reason. I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I make insanely good cupcakes.

One of my favourites and the cupcake I am asked to make most often are my “Black Forest Cupcakes” which I adapted from Martha Stewart. I have included the recipe below. The bolded instructions are the changes I made to the original recipe.

Martha Stewart’s Black Forest Cupcakes

Makes 32 cupcakes

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for tins
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for tins
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) preserved cherries in light syrup
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch (cherry flavoured brandy)
  • Pastry Cream
  • Chocolate Cherry Ganache Glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Brush standard muffin tins with butter; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.  Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-size bowl.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add the brown sugar and continue to beat until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl often.  Mix in the sour cream.  Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 3 additions of buttermilk, and mixing until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  4. To assemble, drain cherries, reserving 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons syrup.  Cut each cherry in half. Combine the reserved syrup and kirsch in a small bowl. Using a serrated knife, gently cut out the center of each cupcake, save the very top portion of each and scoop out the cake underneath.  Using a pastry brush, brush underside of the top portion you removed and the side of the hole you scooped.  Fill the center of each cupcake with the mixture of halved cherries, and top with pastry cream. Replace the small top portion.  Spoon 2 tablespoons glaze over tops.  Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

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