These little beauties were created for the same reason many of my cakes are, Asda had loads of fresh cherries on sale and they needed devouring. It would appear that like most food, fruit becomes way more delicious once drenched in dark chocolate! For that fact alone I decided to concoct these cakes around the sole purpose of topping them with chocolate dunked cherries…Besides munching around the stone they were a hit at work and besides infusing cherry flavours in to the icing next time, there is little i’d change if I made them again.
Marbling cake is so easy to do and yet looks awesome! Give it a go. It will have more impact on larger cakes as the swirls will be more apparent, but they can work great with flavour combos in tiny cakes too.
- 225g Stork
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk
- 3tbsp cocoa powder
- Fresh cherries – around half a punnet pitted and cut in to quarters.
- 80g Butter or Willow
- 250g Icing Sugar
- red food colouring
- 1tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Dipped Cherries
- 16 cherries (to top 16 cakes)
- 100g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) and line a tin with muffin cases; I ended up with 6 cakes in the end but it depends how much you fill your cases
- Beat the stork and sugar together until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time, adding some flour with the last 2 so the mixture doesn’t curdle.
- Stir in the flour (folding preferably), along with the vanilla extract and milk.
- Now spoon half the mixture in to a separate bowl, adding the cocoa powder and an extra tablespoon of milk.
- To the cocoa mix add the pitted cherries and stir fully in to the mix.
- What you will now do is layer up the mixtures, taking it in turns. I tend to do a tablespoon of each and layer up until about 3/4 full on a muffin case. Try to distribute the cherries equally, alternatively you can add them between layers to have more control over their placement.
- Pop them in the oven for 25 minutes and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile you can make the frosting and chocolate cherries
- For the cherries select the best ones from the punnet; avoid damaged or bruised ones.
- Heat chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of hot water and put out a piece of greaseproof paper. Keep the bowl over the water, once the chocolate is melted, as you carefully dunk the cherries in the chocolate.
- Allow the excess to drip off and then carefully pop them upright on to the greaseproof.
- It will take them around an hour to set, perfect for your cakes to cool and the frosting to be made.
- For the frosting put the butter/willow in to a mixer and set it away, this softens the butter a bit. Gradually add the icing sugar and the vanilla then set it on medium speed for around 5 minutes or so. This ensures it’s really light and fluffy.
- Separate the frosting in to 2 bowls and colour one batch pink with a little red food dye.
- Put both mixes in to a piping bag, pink spooned down one side and normal down the other. When you pipe this will provide a swirly mixture of pink and cream icing
- Top each cupcake with a swirl of icing and single cherry.
Looking back it would pay off to have more cherry infusion to the recipe. Maybe a cherry liqueur in the frosting to add that extra vibrant flavouring. Alternatively a drizzle of Kersch reduction could be used over the icing before topping with the cherry.
Either way these beauties were very popular in the work office and now feel much more confident about experimenting with home crafted toppings rather than relying on shop bought sprinkles…they definitely taste much better!