Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes with a Chocolate Mousseline Cream Frosting

My son’s favorite cake for his birthday has always been my Chocolate Cherry Cake. This delicious chocolate cake has a yummy cherry filling, with a creamy chocolate frosting.

I decided to turn my son’s favorite birthday cake into cupcakes. I started with a delicious chocolate cupcake, and filled the cupcakes with my own, homemade cherry filling. Because of the sweetness of the cherry filling, I topped these delicious cupcakes with silky smooth Chocolate Mousseline Cream. Then, just to let you know there’s cherries inside, I topped each cupcake with a cherry. I made these cupcakes when fresh cherries were not in season, so I used canned cherries (not cherry pie filling). But a fresh cherry on top would work just as well.

Let’s BAKE!

INGREDIENTS

CHERRY FILLING
27 ounces canned cherries (not pie filling)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup caster sugar (100 grams)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (18 gramsj)

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
2 ounces dark chocolate, 60% cocoa, broken into small pieces (56 grams)
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/3 cup boiling water (80 ml)
3/4 cup unbleached flour (100 grams)
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (30 grams)
5 tablespoons cocoa powder (30 grams)
1 cup caster sugar (194 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil (80 ml)
1 large egg
2/3 cup buttermilk (160 ml)

CHOCOLATE MOUSSELINE CREAM
1 cup heavy cream (240 ml)
1/3 cup nonfat milk, plus 1 tablespoon (90 ml)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar (68 grams)
3 tablespoons cornstarch (20 grams)
13 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp.) room temperature (186 grams)
3 ounces dark chocolate, 60% (86 grams)
1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

CHERRY FILLING

Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup (118 ml) of the liquid. Set aside 12 cherries (these will top each cupcake). Stir lemon juice into the drained cherries. In a medium pot, whisk together 1/2 cup of the reserved cherry liquid, sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Once the mixture is simmering, add cherries; bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the cherry juice is translucent and thick. Remove from heat, cool completely. (this can be made a day ahead, placing it in a covered container. It also makes more than you need for this recipe.)

CUPCAKES

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with baking-cup liners. Place 2 oz. chocolate and espresso powder in a small bowl; pour 1/3 cup boiling water over chocolate mixture, stir until smooth; set aside to cool. Sift together unbleached flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt, and baking soda; whisk together until combined. In a medium bowl whisk together canola oil, egg, and buttermilk; add cooled chocolate mixture to buttermilk mixture. Add chocolate-buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well blended and smooth.

Pour batter evenly into prepared muffin cups 1/2-2/3 full (about 1/4 cup each). Bake at 350-degrees F. for 17-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean, or internal temperature is 200-degrees F. Cool cupcakes on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin. Let cool completely.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSELINE CREAM

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in cornstarch until thoroughly blended and no lumps remain. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk and vanilla extract to a scald (little bubbles around the edges of the milk). Slowly whisk about 1/3 cup of hot cream mixture into egg mixture, until incorporated. Slowly whisk in remaining hot cream mixture. Pour mixture back into sauce pan; cook over medium heat stirring constantly with the whisk, until thickened and slowly boiling (like lava). Remove from heat, put mixture through sieve. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours to cool and set completely.

Bring pastry cream back to room temperature, stir or whisk until smooth. Melt chocolate over double boiler; set aside to cool. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add cooled chocolate and 1/8 tsp. salt; beat one more minute. Scrape down bowl. Reduce speed on stand mixer to low, gradually add pastry cream (about 1/4 cup at a time), beating about 15-30 seconds between additions, scraping down bowl every time you make an addition of pastry cream. After last addition, scrape down bowl, then beat for 1 minute until smooth and fluffy. Fill a 16″ pastry bag with a 1M tip with Chocolate Mousseline Cream.

ASSEMBLY

Using an apple corer, cut out the center of each cupcake. Fill cavity of each cupcake with Cherry Filling. Top each cupcake with the Chocolate Mousseline Cream. Top each cupcake with a reserved cherry. Serve and enjoy!

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