July 4, 2011

July 4th How To: Black Forest Cupcakes

     Baking is one of my favorite things to do. Most of what I learned about baking I learned from my grandparents. Every 4th of July, I remember my grandmother would make a black forest cake and sometimes decorate the top like a flag. It was fantastic and so delicious! This year I thought I'd make it myself and share with you. And since smaller versions are more fun, I made cupcakes! I modified this black forest cake recipe to make them. I'm diabetic so I substituted the sugar. I also substituted the milk. This would be very easy to make vegan by substituting the eggs as well. You can make them as "normal" as you like. But here's my version...
 Black Forest Cupcakes 

  • 1-1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups truvia
  • 2/3 cups dark amber agave
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( you could sub Dissarono or Kirsch) 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12 cup cupcake pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  3. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan.
  4. Bake for 18 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Loosen the edges of the cupcakes with a small rubber spatula or butter knife, and transfer to your wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping I covered the tops with whipped cream (this is one of those rare occasions where I used store bought, shameful I know). Then I added fresh blueberries (placed in a circle to keep cherries from sliding off), and a modified version of this cherry pie filling recipe. My version is listed below. And I didn't have a cherry pitter so I came up with my own DIY method. You'll need to pit your cherries first.
How To Pit A Cherry Without A Pitter
  1. Lay down some paper towels or newspaper (I didn't and made a huge mess), put on an apron, and you'll need a bowl to catch the pits.
  2. Remove the stem. Take a knife and cut and + shape into the bottom and top of the cherry.
  3. Take your chopstick (square ended chopsticks seemed to work best) and twist the bigger flat end into the bottom side of the cherry and push firmly through. The pit should come out pretty easy. I only had about 1 out of 10 cherries fall apart.
Now that your cherries are prepped here's the topping recipe.
Homemade Sugar-Free Cherry Pie Filling
  • 3 1/3 cups fresh pitted cherries (I used Bing cherries)
  • 1/2 cup truvia
  • 1/2 cup dark amber agave
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or Clear Jel if you can find it)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (you could sub Dissarono or Kirsch)
  1. Rinse your cherries and place in a pot with the cold water. Boil for 2 minutes.
  2. With a slotted spoon remove the cherries and keep them covered bowl, do not discard the water.
  3. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon warm water. Add to the water the cherries were boiling in.
  4. Add sugars, cinnamon, and almond extract. Whisk mixture and cook over medium high heat 5 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice and cook until desired thickness, stirring constantly.
  6. Fold in your drained cherries immediately.
Now assemble your cupcakes as you like; Stars, stripes, hodge-podge, or flag shaped and Enjoy! Happy Independence Day!

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