Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes: Pick Me Up

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“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Neil Gaiman said that once. And I’m hoping that this next year I will remember it. I want to grow this little blog into something bigger, a representation of mistakes made and lessons learned. But also a documentation of the fun, the hard work, the good food that is made and eaten in 2015.

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2015! It’s here! Do you feel new and ready to take on another year? Because if not you can always eat a cupcake and see if tomorrow feels better.

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I always feel a little overwhelmed in January. The holidays are so busy and filled with beautiful crazy that the first month of the year fills like it needs a vacation. Making resolutions and promising to eat healthier, study harder, wake up earlier doesn’t sound exciting at all.

January needs a pick me up.

 

Do you ever have obsessions that last about a month or two and then sizzle out? Because I certainly do. For a small period of my life oatmeal was the only thing I would eat for breakfast. I had more scented candles than you could shake a stick at for awhile. And I’m still in the middle of my iced tea obsession. (I’m hoping that one doesn’t go away, iced tea is the drink of champions)

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For a time being I had a fascination with Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares. You know the little individually wrapped shiny squares of chocolate that seem like tiny presents of joy and happiness? Those ones. There were mint ones and caramel ones and oh wow. Raspberry ones.

These New Year, January needs a pick up, 2015 cupcakes were inspired by those Raspberry Filled chocolate squares.

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Fudgy chocolate cake. Tart raspberry preserve filling. Creamy raspberry butter cream. These cupcakes are worthy of a fork and a cup of milk on the side. (Or iced tea!)

Things about this cupcake:

  1. Chocolate cake tends to get pretty dry the longer it goes uneaten. This is because the cocoa powder added to the recipe dries it out quickly. The added coffee in this recipe and the fact that there are juicy raspberry surprises are nestled in the middle of the cake keep it soft with a moist, but not soupy,  crumb. Perfect for biting into.
  2. Usually I see recipes for chocolate cake that call for buttermilk. Omitting this makes these more fudgy and chocolatey. It is definitely an indulgent cupcake that reminds you of rich happy raspberry filled chocolate bars. 😉
  3. The butter cream frosting is the perfect accompaniment. It’s light, fruity, and refreshing. I might have eaten it straight off of the beaters. Kinda

So if you’ve been feeling a little glum or unmotivated these are for you. You won’t need anything extra to remind you of all the good things in the world afterwards.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
 
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup coffee
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Raspberry Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Raspberry Preserves (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a regular muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the coffee, oil, egg, and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat on high 1 minute more.
  3. Using a ¼ cup scoop batter into the muffin tin lined with paper liners. Bake 12 to 18 minutes until the tops of the cupcakes spring back with lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a rack 1 hour.
  4. Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-deep piece from the top of each cupcake (do not throw away the tops). Fill each hole with 1 teaspoon raspberry preserves and replace cutout pieces. Frost cupcakes and top with remaining preserves if desired.
  5. Frosting: In a mixing bowl beat ½ cup softened butter, 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves or jam, ¼ cup whipping cream, ½ tsp almond extract, 1 teaspoon of raspberry extract and 16 ounces of powdered sugar. Beat 3 minutes until fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally.
  6. Preserves: In a sauce pan over medium hear stir together 2 cups of raspberries (fresh or frozen) ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup water, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Cook about 5 minutes until the sugar melts and the berries are soft. Drain the raspberries, saving the juice and return to the pan. Add 3 tablespoons of corn starch to the juice to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the berries over medium heat and cook about 5 to 10 minutes more until the preserves are thick. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 2 cups.

 

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