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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Decadent Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

The Great Cupcake Experiment 
Bug and I love to bake together.  I started training him as my kitchen assistant at the ripe old age of 15 months and he's always excited to climb up in his chair and get to workRecently we have embarked on what I call The Great Cupcake Experiment.  The objective?  Seek out and/or create new cupcake recipes and combinations, test them in the kitchen and eventually narrow down our favorites and include them in a keepsake photo book of our adventure



Decadent Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

 Our first baking adventure in The Great Cupcake Experiment and we already have one for the favorites list.  Moist chocolate cake with strawberry cream filling and strawberry butter cream frosting prepared with fresh real strawberries-it's a little piece of heaven.  I took what I felt were the best parts of 3 different chocolate cake recipes, tweaked them slightly and came up with chocolate decadence.  The strawberry filling and strawberry frosting cut the intense chocolate flavor just perfectly.  My husband is not a big chocolate cake fan, but he can't keep his hands off of these.  We have encountered one small problem-Bug loves strawberries, but he truly hates chocolate.  A taste of the cake batter sent him into a gagging, spitting fit-think toddler biting into broccoli and you'll get the pictureWe've known for sometime that he hasn't yet acquired the taste for chocolate, but we are keeping our hope alive.  While the cupcakes were not a giant hit with him, he did enjoy the mixing process and the strawberry frosting.

Chocolate Cake

1 Box Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
1 Small pkg Jello chocolate pudding mix (instant)
1 Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup sour cream
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp coffee extract*
1 Pkg Ghiradelli semi-sweet mini chips (Ghiradelli brand is recommended-it makes a difference)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat eggs slightly, add in all other ingredients except for the mini chips and mix completely.  Stir in the mini-chips.  Add papers to cupcake pan and fill 2/3 full.  As this batter is very thick I found it easiest to use an ice cream scoop when filling.  Bake following cake mix package instructions for cupcakes.  Over baking will result in a less moist cake, so make sure to check them with the toothpick method. When finished, cool in pan 5 minutes and then move cupcakes to wire racks to complete cooling.  This recipe made 27 cupcakes.
   *The use of coffee extract will not give your cupcakes a coffee flavor.  Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.


Strawberry Cream Filling

1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar 
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
6 Tbs processed strawberries   

Process the strawberries in a blender using "chop" speed until they resemble a nice strawberry puree consistency. Beat the whipping cream and vanilla until it begins to thicken.  Mix in sugar beating until it resembles cool whip.  Fold in processed strawberries.  Refrigerate until needed. 

Strawberry Frosting 
 From Candice at allrecipes.com
 
Enough fresh strawberries to make 1 cup of puree -( about two cups of sliced strawberries)
1 Cup Salted Butter -this is 2 sticks (real butter, not margarine) 
31/2 Cups Confectioners' Sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Puree strawberries in blender making sure to have 1 cup of finished puree.  Place puree in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring often, continue to boil until liquid is reduced by half, this took about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

With mixer; beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and beat until just blended.  Add 2 Tbs reduced strawberry puree and vanilla extract and beat until just blended. Repeat adding 1 cup sugar and 2 Tbs strawberry puree two more times.  Add last 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar into the mixture and beat until just blended. 

Suggestion: this frosting has an amazing real strawberry flavor when first made, however the flavor is usually even better the next day. If you don't want to make the cupcakes at least 24hrs before serving them,  prepare the frosting ahead of time and refrigerate until needed. 


When your cupcakes have cooled fill them with the Strawberry Cream Filling.  You can do this in two ways;
  • 1. Use a small pairing knife to cut a cone shape from the middle of the cupcake, fill with cream, replace top portion of cake over filling.

  • 2.  Use a cake decorating tip to inject the filling into the middle of the cupcake (this is the method I used) which is faster and less messy.  The tip I used was the Wilton
    Bismarck Tip 230.

After filling, frost your cupcakes however you prefer and add fresh strawberries as garnish (optional).
     Pour yourself a large glass of cold milk and - Indulge!



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2 comments:

~Kc Waddell said...

Those really do look decadent!

Rhonda said...

Oh they were...I can't believe I chose to start this experiment while I was attempting to shed 5lbs. lol Oh well...I let hubby eat the majority of them. Thanks for commenting KC.