But then I began to miss the elegant simplicity of The Cupcake.
I often struggle to photograph slices of cake. Cupcakes are simpler. It's easier to find perfection in their compact composition. Cupcake. Icing. Sprinkles.
But after all that talk about simplicity, here I am with a relatively complex creation:
Black Forest Cupcakes. Complex but not complicated.
There are several steps involved. Each one adds a layer of deliciousness to the creation. Don't skip a step. Savour each one. I especially like the jam. I should have photographed the jam. I didn't. You can see some of it peeking out under the cream, though. It's good jam ; )
Black Forest Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Australian Woman's Weekly
Preheat the oven to 170'C
Line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
425g can good quality pitted black cherries in syrup
150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
185g caster sugar
60 ml Kirsch (cherry brandy) / sherry
1 large egg
175g cake flour
20g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Drain cherries, reserve the syrup.
In a food processor, purée 120 g cherries with 125ml (1/2 cup) syrup.
Reserve the remaining syrup and cherries four the jam.
Place the purée in a small sauce saucepan, together with the chocolate, sugar, butter and sherry.
Heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Leave to cool for 15min.
Whisk in the egg.
Sift in the dry ingredients and mix briefly until incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cases.
Bake at 170'C for approx 25 minutes.
Remaining cherries - roughly chopped
2 tbs water
1 1/2 tbs corn flour
100g caster sugar
2 tbs Kirsch /sherry
Roughly chop the remaining cherries.
Mix the water and cornstarch together. Mix this together with the sugar, syrup and sherry and heat in a small saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens.
Add the cherries and simmer for a few minutes.
Allow to cool. Spoon onto the top of the cupcakes.
250ml (1 cup) whipping cream
2 tbs icing sugar
Chill the mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Sift the icing sugar into the cream and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff.
Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave shards of chocolate off a slab of dark chocolate.
Sprinkle over the whipped cream-topped cupcake.
Cupcake. Icing. Sprinkles. Enjoy.