Cherry Chip Cupcakes

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Looking for a summery cupcake which will be a hit at any BBQ, cookout, garden party or picnic then look no further, I’ve the lightest cupcake full of pretty pink cherry flavour. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 2

Ever since I placed the cherry on top I’ve been dying to share these little pink gems with you. I’m delighted with them, they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. I couldn’t stop photographing them hence the picture heavy post. Expect to see more cupcakes from me, I’ve fallen in love again with these mini sweet iced cakes.

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I made these cupcakes to take along with us to a garden party we attended this past weekend. They were a big hit, the cherry flavour in these really bursts as your lips touch the buttercream topping, giving way to lightness. These little cherry cupcakes are light as a cloud, making the most of the summers bounty of cherries. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 4

I’ve been wanting to create a cherry chip cake for a while now, it’s not a well-known cake here in the UK but seems to be an American favourite from what I’ve heard. Dried cherries are hard to get hold of here and when you do find them they are ridiculously expensive for such a small amount so I was over the moon when I found them in a local health food store for a great price. Now all I’ve gotta do is stock up!

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Dried cherries make the base for the cake and the icing. They get plumped up over the stove in some water, they absorb the water making them juicy and soft. Into the food processor they go along with some vanilla extract turning them into a thick, smooth, deep grape coloured paste. You’ll need to reserve 2 tablespoons of the paste for the icing with the rest going into the cake. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 6

Egg whites, egg whites. egg whites! That’s what gives the lightness. Six egg whites are used in the cake and six are used in the buttercream. It’s not just any buttercream though, it’s swiss meringue buttercream. I love it! If you’ve used it before then you’ll know why I love it, if you haven’t tried swiss meringue buttercream before then you need to try it, you’ll fall in love and become its biggest fan. It’s really not that hard to make either. I’ll talk you through the steps later on.

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First of all is the foundation of a cupcake, the cake! Cake flour gives the cake its structure resulting in a light, delicate crumb. They don’t take long to make or to bake which means you can make these first thing in the morning, ice them in the afternoon and have them good to go right after decorating. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 8

The cherry paste speckles the crumb a lovely rouge shade and flavours it delicately. Want to achieve a light, airy, delicate base for your summery cupcakes? This is how you can achieve it. Firstly is the cherry paste. You make this by heating these in a small saucepan with water, simmering until most of it has evaporated. Add to a food processor along with vanilla extract and blend to a paste. Set aside a little for the icing then mix the rest with some milk and set aside.

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Next grab a medium bowl and whisk together cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside also. Now cream together softened butter and sugar until you have a light in colour, fluffy and creamy mixture. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula to ensure everything get’s fully incorporated. Drizzle in your oil mixing until combined and scrape down your bowl again with your spatula. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 10

Mix in your egg whites, two at a time adding the next two as soon as the previous have been incorporated. Once all your eggs have been added its now the simple process of adding the remaining dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. Give a final stir with your spatula to make sure you’ve not missed any stray pockets of flour. Spoon into cupcakes and bake. Your on your way to a lovely, light cupcake.

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Now for the topping! I love this topping, it’s melt in the mouth delicious! Cherry Chip Cupcakes 12

Swiss meringue buttercream. If you’ve never made this buttercream before, stop what you’re doing and after you’ve finished reading this post plan on masking asap! You won’t be disappointed, it’s the lightest buttercream and fluffy like a cloud. When I first read the recipe for making this icing I must admit I was a little intimidated and put of trying it for some time. Once I took the plunge I was amazed by how easy it was and told myself of for not trying it sooner. I’ll walk you through the steps of creating the most airy and cloud like buttercream.

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Get your mixing bowl from your stand mixer and add the egg whites and sugar. Set over a pan of simmering water making sure the bottom doesn’t come into contact with the water. Place a thermometer in the bowl and using an electric hand whisk, whisk until you have a meringue like mixture and the temperature reaches 130F. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 14

Remove from the heat and attach to your stand with a whisk attachment and whisk until the outside bowl feels cool to the touch. This will take between 8-15 minutes. Add cubed butter, adding the next once the previous has been incorporated. Once all the butter has been added keep on mixing it until light and creamy. It may look curdled but don’t worry just keeping on mixing, it will come together. Now add your flavourings

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I used the reserved cherry puree, vanilla extract, a little salt and some LorAnn Cherry oil. This oil smells beautiful and packed full of fruity flavour. Once you’ve added your flavoured whisk for a few minutes more to incorporated it fully. Remove from the mix and give a final stir by hand. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 16

I wanted to try something different with the icing so I turned my piping bag inside out and added lines of purple food colouring. When you pipe the buttercream onto the cupcake your left with a lovely swirl of colour through the icing. Top with a cherry and your done.

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These cupcakes also mark an anniversary. I’m a member of the baking group Cake Slice Bakers and this Thursday is the 6th year anniversary of the group. I’ve only been a member for just under a year but love baking with these group of talented ladies each month. I choose this recipe to make as the book the recipes came from was used as the chosen book to bake from last year in the group and as I joined mid way through baking from this book didn’t get a chance to make many of the cakes from it. Cherry Chip Cupcakes 18

Whether you just want to bake some cupcakes or have a celebration to take them too, these light little bites of cherry heaven are a perfect ode to summers cherry bounty.

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Yields 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

{cherry puree}

  • 170 grams (6 ounces) Dried cherries
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) Water
  • 1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 310 ml (1 1/4 cup) Milk

{cake}

  • 250 grams (3 cups) Cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 170 grams (3/4 cup) Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 350 grams (1 3/4 cup) Caster sugar
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) Rapeseed oil
  • 6 Large egg whites

{cherry swiss meringue buttercream}

  • 6 Large egg whites
  • 250 grams (1 1/4 cups) Caster sugar
  • 450 grams (2 cups) Unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Cherry puree
  • Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt
  • 10 drops LorAnn Cherry oil
  • Americolour food colouring in Electric Pink
  • Fresh cherries

Method

{cake}

  1. To start, you need to make the cherry paste. You make this by heating these in a small saucepan with hot water simmering until most of it has evaporated. Add to a food processor along with vanilla extract and blend to a paste.
  2. Set aside two tablespoons for the icing then mix the rest with the milk and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside also. Now cream together softened butter and sugar until you have a light in colour, fluffy and creamy mixture. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula to ensure everything get’s fully incorporated. Drizzle in your oil mixing until combined and scrape down your bowl again with your spatula.
  4. Mix in your egg whites, two at a time adding the next two as soon as the previous have been incorporated. Once all your eggs have been added, add 1/3 of the flour mixture mixing until just combined then half the wet ingredients and continue until everything has been incorporated into the cake.   Give a final stir with your spatula to make sure you’ve not missed any stray pockets of flour. Spoon into cupcakes and bake.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Leave in the cake tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

{cherry swiss meringue buttercream}

  1. Get your mixing bowl from your stand mixer and add the egg whites and sugar. Set over a pan of simmering water making sure the bottom doesn’t come into contact with the water. Place a thermometer in the bowl and using an electric hand whisk, whisk until you have a meringue like mixture and the temperature reaches 130F.
  2. Remove from the heat and attach to your stand with a whisk attachment and whisk until the outside bowl feels cool to the touch. This will take between 8-15 minutes.
  3. Add cubed butter, adding the next once the previous has been incorporated. Once all the butter has been added keep on mixing it until light and creamy. It may look curdled but don’t worry just keeping on mixing, it will come together. Now add the vanilla extract, salt, cherry puree and the cherry oil, whisk for a few minutes more to incorporated it fully. Remove from the mix and give a final stir by hand.
  4. I wanted to try something different with the icing so once I’d inserted my icing tip I turned my piping bag inside out and added lines of purple food colouring. Turn the right way and spoon in your buttercream. Pipe onto each cupcake and top with a fresh cherry.

Notes

* Both of these recipes are adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

* These are best eaten the day they are made but will last for up to 3 days stored in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid.

* Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

* The colour in the buttercream is optional, as is the cherry on top.

 

Sweet and Savoury Sunday #72

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Welcome to week #72 of Sweet & Savoury Sundays!
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We’re in the middle of Summer and there’s no escaping the heat! I’m ready for Autumn, don’t get my wrong, it’s not that I don’t like warm weather or longer days but when it’s too hot to do anything, it gets me down a bit. I hope you all are enjoying your summer’s so far!
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Once again thanks for all your entries last week, we’d love for you to link up all your recipes, crafts and DIY projects again with us, tell all your friends to link up too :) Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
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So what are you waiting for, join us now and let’s have some fun!!
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Let’s get this party started!!
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After you’ve viewed my favorites this week, make sure to stop by Cupcakery to view their favorites as well!
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Baking In Pyjamas Favourites:
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link party 72 favourtie 1
Cherry Vanilla Yoghurt Popsicles by Roxy’s Kitchen
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 link party 72 favourite 2
Raspberry Almond Pound Cake by Just About Baked
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 link party 72 favourite 3
Shrimp and Chicken Summer Rolls by Swirls and Spice
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Most viewed link this week
link party 72 most viewed
Plum Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake by Box of Stolen Socks
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S’more Brownie Bites

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We had a mini break in the heat wave we are experiencing in the UK at the minute, so what better time to make brownies! Not just any brownies though, s’more brownie bites. S'more Brownie Bites 2

These little bites of sweet, chewy, toasted marshmallow topped treats consist of a light brownie base, a digestive buttery crumbed layer, then big fluffy marshmallows which get melted a little in the oven then toasted under the grill. You could torch the tops with a blow torch but I don’t have one of those at my disposal.

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Thank goodness from the drop in temperature for two reasons, one I can’t stand the heat and two these tasty nuggets. Bad news, the heat is back! But at least I have these. They may look hard to make but really they aren’t. They  were ready for me to devour within 2 hours of starting! Want to turn a boring old brownie into a campfire inspired mega brownie, here’s how.

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Firstly the biscuit part of the s’more. We don’t have graham crackers here in the UK so our next best alternative in the digestive biscuit. Love digestive biscuits, especially the ones that are topped with dark chocolate, so good. Place your biscuits or crackers in a plastic freezer bag and crush using a rolling-pin. Melt some butter and stir through your biscuit rubble and set aside.

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For the brownies, this is the chocolate part of the s’more, place dark chocolate and butter into a heat-proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. I love dark chocolate and use it in all my baking. Once this dark and buttery combination is all melted and swirled together remove it from the heat. Beat in both the sugars using a spatula then add a drop of pure vanilla extract.

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This recipe doesn’t require a mixer which I love. I sometimes prefer to grab just a bowl and spatula to create my recipes with, it’s a slower paced way of doing things and brings you back to the basics of baking when mixers weren’t that easy or affordable to get a hold off.

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Beat your eggs one at time, making sure your brownie batter is smooth and glossy before adding the next. A top baking tip I have for you is when adding eggs to your batters, always crack it in a separate bowl before adding it to your master batter, that way if you happen upon a bad egg you won’t have ruined everything. Once the eggs have been added sift in the flour and add a dash of salt, combine until no flour can be seen.

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Pour this batter into your baking tin, then top this with your biscuit mixture making sure you get an even application. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Now for the marshmallow part. Cover the top of the baked brownies with large marshmallows then place back in your oven and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to your grill to get nicely toasted tops. I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step and this gives out of this world yumminess to the whole thing.

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When slicing these I’d advise you to use a heated knife otherwise you’ll find it extremely hard to slice these without everything sticking to knife and to each other. S'more Brownie Bites 10

if it’s too hot to bake these where you are then wait until the evening when things cool down a little. They really don’t take long at all to put together and these are the perfect little bite-size treat to treat yourself and others around you too. A classic summertime treat transformed into a heavenly brownie bite of scrumptiousness.

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This recipe is part of s’more month on the blog, check out these other campfire inspired recipes that I’ve created for you this month;

 

 

 

 

I’ve one more recipe based on the much loved s’more to share with you, all I’ve gotta do is wait for it cool down a bit *sigh*

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Yields – One 9 x 13 inch pan of S’more Brownie Bites

Ingredients

{base}

  • 200 grams (7 ounces) Digestive biscuits
  • 125 grams (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) Unsalted butter

{brownies}

  • 115 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter
  • 120 grams (4 ounces) Dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa solids, roughly chopped)
  • 190 grams (3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons) Light brown muscovado sugar
  • 130 grams (1/2 cup +3 tablespoons) Caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 140 grams (1 cup + 7 tablespoons) Plain flour
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 260 grams (9 ounces) Large white marshmallows

Method

  1. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking tray with foil making sure the foil overhangs all the sides. Put aside.
  2. Place the digestive biscuits in a large plastic bag and crush using a rolling-pin until you have biscuit rubble. Melt the butter over a low heat in a small saucepan and once melted stir through the crushed digestives.
  3. Place the butter and dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, stir until melted. To this bowl add both the sugars and vanilla extract and stir through thoroughly. Stir through the eggs, one at a time mixing well before adding the next.
  4. Add the flour and salt and stir through until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the cake tin, smooth the top then sprinkle over the digestive biscuit rubble then bake for 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out with a few crumbs attached. Place the marshmallows on top then place back in the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the marshmallows begin to melt. Remove from the oven then place under the grill to toast the tops.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin before removing and using a heated knife slicing into squares.

Notes

* Recipe adapted from Home Sweet Home – Hummingbird Bakery

* These should be stored in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days.

* Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

* Slice with a heated knife, otherwise you’ll end up with a sticky mess