Black Forest Cupcakes

Prep time:
30 mins
Cook time:
20 mins
Makes approx 12


110g butter
110g dark chocolate
10g coffee granules
60g self raising flour
60g plain flour
10g cornflour
25g cocoa powder
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
240g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tsp vegetable oil
50ml buttermilk

For the Kirsch syrup

Jar of black cherry conserve (the best you can afford)
3 tbsp of Kirsch or cherry brandy

For the Chantilly cream

200ml double cream
1tbsp icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Kirsch or cherry brandy
Dark chocolate curls to sprinkle
12 cherries to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2. Place butter, chopped chocolate, coffee granules and 80ml of water in a large bowl over a pan of boiling water, stir gently until melted then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the beaten eggs, oil and buttermilk and the chocolate mixture, stirring with a large spoon until completely combined.
4. Fill cupcake cases to 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the Kirsch syrup by heating 2tbsp of black cherry conserve in the microwave on High for 30 seconds. Strain the hot conserve through a tea strainer and mix in 3 tbsps of Kirsch or cherry brandy into the strained jam. Leave to one side until you are ready.
6. Make the chantilly cream by whipping the double cream with the icing sugar, vanilla extract, and 2tbsp Kirsch or cherry brandy. Whip until thick. Attach the nozzle to the piping bag and add the Chantilly cream, filling no more than 2/3 of the bag. Leave in the fridge until you are ready to use.
7. When the cakes are cool use an apple corer to make a hole in each of the 12 cakes and fill (not too much) with cherry jam, placing the tops of the cakes back on after. Brush the tops of the cakes liberally with Kirsch syrup.
8. Pipe a swirl of Chantilly cream on the tops of the cakes: do this by twisting the top of the piping bag and holding the twist with your thumb and forefinger. Apply pressure to the top of the bag, squeeze and pipe a star in the centre of the cakes. Then, applying pressure again, pipe around the star, using the edge of the cupcake case as a guide. Gradually work the icing upwards into a swirl. To finish: release the pressure, push down slightly and pull the icing bag up and away quickly.
9. Finish by decorating each cake with a cherry and a sprinkling of chocolate curls.

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