Black for­est gateau cup­cakes with morello jam fill­ing

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - LORRAINE SPECIAL -

This is a dessert from the 1970s made into a mod­ern cup­cake. The cup­cake is soaked in Kirsch syrup, but it is fine to leave out the al­co­hol if you pre­fer. Choose cherries, when avail­able, with in­tact stalks for more of a dra­matic ef­fect.

MAKES 12

160g crème fraîche 110g but­ter, soft­ened (I use salted) 4 medium eggs 220g caster sugar 180g self-rais­ing flour 40g co­coa pow­der (sifted if lumpy) 125g morello cherry jam 50g dark choco­late, grated 12 fresh cherries

FOR THE SOAK­ING SYRUP 100g caster sugar 80ml wa­ter 3-4 tsp Kirsch (op­tional)

FOR THE FROST­ING 300ml dou­ble cream, well chilled 60g ic­ing sugar seeds of ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract

EQUIP­MENT 12-hole cup­cake tin me­chan­i­cal ice-cream scoop (op­tional) hand-held elec­tric whisk pip­ing bag with 1.5cm noz­zle (op­tional)

1 Pre­heat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/350F/gas 4) and line the cup­cake tin with twelve pa­per cases. 2 First make the cup­cakes. Put the crème fraîche, but­ter, eggs, caster sugar, flour and co­coa pow­der in a bowl and mix to­gether un­til well com­bined. Stir as lit­tle as pos­si­ble to give you much lighter, fluffier cup­cakes. Then, us­ing a large spoon or me­chan­i­cal ice-cream scoop, di­vide the mix­ture among the cases, us­ing a spat­ula to en­sure you get every last bit out of the bowl. Bake in the oven for 15-20 min­utes, or un­til the cup­cakes are well risen and smell baked. To check that they are cooked, in­sert a skewer in the cen­tre of a cup­cake – it should come out clean. 3 As the cup­cakes are bak­ing, make the soak­ing syrup. Put the caster sugar, wa­ter and Kirsch, if us­ing, in a small pan over a gen­tle heat and cook gen­tly un­til the sugar has dis­solved. In­crease the heat and al­low to bub­ble for 1 minute, then re­move from the heat and set aside to cool a lit­tle. 4 Once the cup­cakes are cooked, re­move them from the oven and al­low to cool for a few min­utes in the tin. Then, us­ing a melon baller or apple corer, scoop out the cen­tre of each cup­cake, mak­ing sure you don’t go all the way down to the bot­tom. Re­serve the scooped-out bits, then fill each hole with 1 heaped tea­spoon of the cherry jam. Put the re­served cup­cake bits back on top and press down to se­cure, then brush with as much of the Kirsch syrup as you like and set aside while you make the frost­ing. 5 Put the cream in a bowl with the ic­ing sugar and vanilla and whisk us­ing the hand-held elec­tric whisk un­til the cream is just hold­ing its shape with soft peaks. Avoid over-whisk­ing the cream so it stays smooth, shiny and sup­ple. Spoon or pipe the frost­ing over the cup­cakes, scat­ter over the grated choco­late and place a cherry on top of each one to serve.

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