Monday, 8 October 2012

Cherry cola cupcakes with ganache and Kirsch mascarpone icing - a recipe

I'm having a major love in with mascarpone at the moment but this time it was for bake club!  The theme this time is Pink to coincide with breast cancer awareness month.  We either had to bake something pink or with a pink ingredient.

After considering some rhubarb options (I do have a crumble recipe to post soon, it's all been about the food here lately, my jeans are getting tight again, eek!), I decided to make a cherry based cupcake with pink icing and set about googling/pinning.  I found plenty of recipes, including one interesting one with marzipan I might try another day, but decided to combine a few elements from different recipes that I thought might work well together and ended up with this cherry cola chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate ganache topped with mascarpone Kirsch icing.  Quite a long title and a lot involved but I thought it would work and it does!  It's the best cupcake I've ever made in my humble opinion ;) and I'm very proud of the result.

I did have trouble with the icing though, but then it was kind of fun experimenting to come up with my own icing recipe instead.  The first two batches of icing I tried were from this recipe which used butter and mascarpone with a little syrup as flavouring and both of them split very easily!  The 2nd one wasn't so bad and I was going to use it but tried it on a cake and found it far too sweet.  In the end I decided on just mascarpone and used much less icing sugar and no syrup and I preferred the final taste, although I felt it needed something more so I tried adding Kirsch and LOVED the result with the dark chocolate.

The original recipes are here and here but here's what I did....


For the cakes: (I converted these measurements from cups as I find it easier since my measuring cups don't have a line so aren't accurate)
225g plain flour
167g sugar (I used golden caster)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
120ml buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
112g unsalted butter
3 tbsp cocoa (22g)
180ml coca-cola
60ml marachino cherry syrup
24 marachino cherries

For the ganache: (I didn't convert these since they were equal quantities so it was easy to measure exactly with my cups)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup double cream

For the icing:
200g mascarpone
4-5tsp Kirsch (or more marachino syrup if you don't want to use alcohol)

For the dipped cherries:
24 marachino cherries with stems if you can get them (See here and here, I couldn't find any in Glasgow so you might have to order them or just use stemless ones like I had to.)
75g dark chocolate


Preheat the oven to 180oC or (160oC if it's a fan oven) and put out 24 cupcake cases in tins.  In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a second bowl or jug.  In a saucepan, boil the cola gently for 5 minutes, add the cherry syrup then melt in the butter and cocoa powder.

Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon and then add the liquid ingredients, beating until everything's blended.  Pour into the cupcake cases and push a cherry into the centre of each cupcake (I just placed them on and let the cakes rise around them, rather than push them to the bottom, although some are at the bottom anyway it seems.)  Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Place on a cooling tray.

Rinse the cherries and pat them dry.  Melt the dark chocolate over a pan of simmering water and dip each cherry and place on a sheet of greaseproof paper.  Place in the fridge to set.

When the cakes have cooled, make the ganache.  Warm the cream in a pan, pour in the chips and stir until melted and combined.  Wait until it has cooled slightly but still a bit runny.  Spoon onto the centre of each cake and smooth out towards the edges in a circle.  Chill in the fridge until set.

To make the icing, beat the mascarpone gently and slowly add the icing sugar and Kirsch bit by bit.  Do not over beat.  Pipe onto the centre of the ganache, finishing the point off to one side to allow for the cherry on top.


Unknown said...

Hey there, I love this idea. I'm thinking about making this frosting for another cupcake recipe. I love the Kirsch idea, and I happen to have some but you didn't mention how much icing sugar you added? I'll probably substitute it for honey or agave and use the minimum possible but I'd like to know how much you used :)


Bex said...

Hi Cassandra, I didn't measure the icing sugar because I was experimenting so just adding it a spoon at a time until I got the consistency and flavour right. When I made these again recently I just did the same thing, adding the Kirsch first and then the icing sugar - I don't like it too sweet anyway. Next time I make them I will count as I do it and update the page!

Hope that helps! (Alternatively try the Nigella recipe for cream cheese icing for her Guinness cake - similar kind of idea to the mascarpone icing...


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