Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and more...

I've not done a lot of new recipes lately, been too busy with other stuff and basically living life.   We were invited to a Kentucky Derby party last weekend and I made some cupcakes to take with us.  I think cherries and chocolate go very nicely together, and cherries can take an ordinary chocolate cupcake and put it over the top.    I have to admit that I use cake mixes, almost exclusively.   My DH prefers them over 'homemade' cakes.    And since he's the major cake eater in the family, I use mixes.   But just because I do, doesn't mean I can't put my own spin on them sometimes.  

I took a can of cherry pie filling, fished out 18 whole cherries, put them aside and then threw the rest of the pie filling into a food processor and processed it until the cherries were chopped up just a little.    Set that aside while I got the cake mix put together.  

I always add an extra tablespoon of flour to the dry mix, my MIL has always done that, and when I used to bake chocolate cakes for my new husband, many, many years ago, he'd eat it, but said it was never as good as his mother's.    So I asked his mother, what brand of cake mix she used.   She told me whichever one was on sale, then said that she always added an extra tablespoon of flour for high altitude baking.    The next cake I made, I added the 'magic' ingredient and voila, I could now make cakes as good as my MIL's. 

I took my trusty ice cream scoop,(actually I got the idea from watching an episode of Cupcake Wars on Food Network)  and started filling the cupcake papers with a small scoop of cake mix, then I added about a tablespoon of the chopped cherry pie filling, then added a little more of the dough to the top.
Ready for the oven

When you fill the cupcakes this way, you do need to add about an extra 5 minutes or so to the bake time.   As always, check with a toothpick at the end of the bake time, if you have any raw batter clinging to the toothpick, put them back in the oven for another few minutes.    
Out of the oven 
After they'd cooled, I filled up some frosting bags with the prepared chocolate frosting and went to town on the cupcakes and decorated them.    I used the reserved cherries for a finishing touch.     Now, I have to say, these went fast at the party.   
All dressed and ready for the party
These were a little messy to eat, but oh so good. 

A couple days later we went to the monthly potluck at the Boat Club and I decided to reprise something I'd made a few months ago,  Bologna Cake .   And it was a hit, again.    This time I decorated it with some parsley from my garden.

  The toothpicks you see sticking out, well, I put those on so I could drape it with some plastic wrap for transport.     I served the Bologna cake with some Flipsides crackers, but Townhouse or any good cracker will work on this.  

Hope you have a great week.   We're getting some very much needed rain at the moment and I'm enjoying the show Gaia is putting on for us right now.  The rain, the lightning, the clouds, all make for a lovely Saturday to be spent inside trying to figure out what to post about here next.  

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