The cupcake craze has truly taken over the food world. Specialty cupcake shops are located all over the country, and have even started to appear overseas! Despite my love of the sweet treat, I have bitten into too many with cloyingly sweet frosting and lackluster cake. Is it too much to ask that a cupcake’s taste match its fancy exterior?
I made these cupcakes for a birthday party a few months ago, and let me tell you–THEY ARE DELICIOUS. Wanting to put a unique spin on the traditional cupcake, I decided to dip the strawberry-filled beauties in chocolate. I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to a normal cupcake. The textural crunch of the hardened chocolate with the strawberry filling creates the illusion of the ever-popular chocolate covered strawberry, but in cupcake form. Yes, it’s an extra step to an already involved process, but the end result is well worth the effort.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes:
These cupcakes are quite labor-intensive, so save them for a special occasion. I imagine that you could substitute any fruit for the strawberries, as long as it pairs well with chocolate (raspberries, blueberries, or lemon curd). The cake recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, but feel free to substitute your favorite cake recipe. Makes approximately 2 dozen cupcakes
1 cup heavy cream _ 1 lb. strawberries, diced 2 cups chocolate chips _ To Make the Cake
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in a cupcake pan and set aside. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate fully after each and scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Beat in the vanilla. The batter should be smooth and thick. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely. _ To Make the Frosting: Put the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until steaming (not boiling!) Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Stir slowly until the mixture is incorporated. Let cool to room temperature. When the ganache has cooled, put in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip until the ganache has become light in color and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to frost the cupcakes. _ To Assemble the Cupcakes: Cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake (see this website for instructions). Fill each cupcake with strawberries and replace the cupcake “lid”. When all cupcakes are filled, melt the chocolate chips. Dip each cupcake in the melted chocolate (or spread the chocolate on each cupcake with a knife) and set aside for the chocolate to set. When the chocolate has hardened, frost the cupcakes with the whipped ganache. Phew! –Enjoy