Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Raspberry & Chocolate Filled Cupcakes


Oh raspberries...it's been far too long since we have spent some time together! Before I left the UK my morning breakfast consisted of creamy coconut yoghurt dotted with scrummy raspberries! Unfortunately, because Vancouver has precisely 3 brands of yoghurts...all of which are fat free and therefore taste disgusting, my breakfast ritual has had to change! My days of creamy dreamy coconut yoghurt are a thing of the past (whilst my Mom can post me endless amounts of dairy milk and malteaster bunnies, it's a no go on the airmail yoghurt front!) and so I have to think of other ways to incorporate raspberries into my daily diet! 

Considering this blog is about a person obsessed with cupcakes, there's been a distinct lack of cupcake baking going on around here! So I went crazy...bought some expensive Vancouver raspberries, and whipped up some chocolate and raspberry cupcakes! 

I knew that I wanted my return to cupcakes to be big, so when you wanna go big...filled cupcakes are the way to do it! 


I spent hours agonising over how I would fill them! Initially my first thought was with a nice dollop of raspberry jam...but then I remembered I live in Vancouver where jam = watery inedible liquid, no jokes! so then I thought about chocolate ganache but I wanted something lighter and creamier and then chocolate cream cheese filling dawned on me, so I whipped some up.  As I was whipping it up I thought adding some raspberry puree could make it even tastier...and I was right so then I went all out and blended in a few whole raspberries so you got lovely little raspberry blasts throughout! I was eating it by the spoonful! It was oh so delish.


I then blended in the rest of the raspberry puree to the frosting to make some vibrant fresh raspberry frosting! Look how pink it turned! All natural baby.  A fresh raspberry to finish it off, and these were some of the moistest, richest, most decadent cupcakes I've made for a long while!

I made them to take to a friend who just had a new baby, but since Valentine's is coming up and they tie in nicely you could make them for the one you love! Really though, these cupcakes are so delicious that you don't even need an excuse to make them! 


Raspberry & Chocolate Filled Cupcakes:
Makes 12
From Cupcake Crazy Gem

For the cupcakes:

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup salted butter, firm but not cold
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda.  Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy for about 3-4 minutes.  Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until combined.  Measure out buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup and add vanilla extract to milk, then whisk to combine.  Working in 2 separate batches, add buttermilk mixture followed by flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing just unti combined after each addition (batter will be thick).  

Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full.  Bake in a preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of each cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes in baking pan until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

225g cream cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp raspberry puree (I blended fresh raspberries until liquid, and then sieved out the seeds)
1/4 cup whole fresh raspberries (about 7)

Blend cream cheese and unsalted butter together with an electric mixer until incorporated.  Beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder until combined.  Stir in the raspberry puree and beat in the whole raspberries until only little fragments can be seen.

Using a knife, or a cupcake corer if you're fancy like that, cut a circular hole in the middle of the cupcakes.  Remove the cake and cut the top circle part of the cut out cake off.  Save this part for later.

Put your filling in a piping bag fitted with a nozzle.  Pipe the filling into each cupcake hole, and then plug the top of the cupcake with the round cake disc you saved from earlier.

For the frosting:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blended into puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12 raspberries (for garnish)

Puree the raspberries in a blender.  Pass them through a sieve into a bowl.  It may take a little while but keep using a spoon to pat the raspberry liquid through the sieve until only seeds remain.

Mix the butter and half the sugar together in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  Once they are well blended, add the remaining sugar.  Beat together until smooth and creamy, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the vanilla extract and raspberry puree.  I like to add the raspberry puree a few teaspoons at a time because it's a fine line when using fruit between when it's added a good amount of flavour or when it adds too much liquid to the frosting.  

Taste it to see if it tastes raspberry enough, and see if the frosting is stiff enough.  If it needs to be stiffer, add more sugar, if it needs to be more flavourful then add more puree.

Frost each cupcake, and add a single fresh raspberry on top.  You could also drizzle with chocolate for extra decadence...because everything looks better with drizzle! I was intending to, but then I realised it was 1 minute until our bus was due to leave to take the cupcakes to our friend so they had to be snapped quick and go without drizzle this time around!

P.S Please note I am coming up to my 6 month mark as an ex pat in Vancouver.  As ex pats go, your first 3 months are the honeymoon phase when everything is amazing and exciting and new.  Apparently once you pass that mark you progress into the rejection phase where you start deciding everything was actually much better where you came from.  I feel like I'm in that phase so bear with me! Cream and yoghurt frustrations aside and ignoring the incessant rain for a minute, I have a feeling with spring around the corner I'll enter into a new phase soon where I'm back to appreciating the endless supply of root beer and graham crackers and the fact I have to say 'bangs' instead of fringe and 'pants' instead of trousers will not irritate me quite so much! but for right now just let me dwell in my rejection phase for a moment, okay?

25 comments:

  1. Wow! These cupcakes are so lovely! Very tasty & love the color! So SWEET! ;)

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    1. Thanks Kit! I loved how the colour turned out too!

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  2. I think people always miss their favourite foods when they live abroad - I lived in Germany for a while so I know how you feel - and the excitement one day when we found a shop selling British foods! There might be something in Vancouver aimed at expats selling all your favourite brands, you never know - but it's more likely to be Cadbury's than yogurt. Hang in there.... and just remember the rest of us are really jealous of all the products you can buy that we can't get over here!

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    1. Ah thanks Caroline, yeah I know of british shops around that sell imported stuff but I think I'd feel silly going there! considering just how much I love American food!! I know I need to focus more on the stuff I can get here...rather than what I can't! Glad to hear you felt the same way though in Germany too :)

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  3. This frosting has such a fantastic colour!! I love this flavour combination

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    1. Thanks, me too! I always forget how much I love the two together until I bake something with them both and then I just want to keep making chocolate raspberry stuff all the time!

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  4. Very appetizing your cupcake! J'adore your blog!

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  5. Hi Gem, I tried to post a comment this morning but it seems not to have come through! Anyway, I think it's only natural to go through phases like this when you move abroad - I'm sure you'll come out the other side smiling. In the meantime, this cupcakes look perfect to help brighten your day. Love the sound of the raspberry chocolate cream! :) x

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    1. Thanks Susie! Yes, I nearly didn't have enough to fill all my cupcakes because I was eating so much of it in the process!

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  6. Raspberry and chocolate is truly one of my favorite combos. Awesome idea with the raspberry filling! so pretty. maybe these yummy cupcakes will help entice the spring to come sooner rather than later :)

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    1. Thanks! I hope so too! The rain has been relentless here!

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  7. I'm sure I've said this before but I love the way you style your cakes and sweets :) These cupcakes are SUPER Pretty and I bet they taste even better ~ I haven't baked for OVER 7 weeks it's crazy hahaha I really need to bake something :D

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    1. Ah Daisy, your comments always cheer me up! Thanks for the massive compliment! I've actually been really sad about the state of my photos and styling since we got to Canada because all my pretty cake stands and props are back in the UK so I was feeling like none of my pictures were turning out the way I wanted so that means a lot! 7 weeks, wow! I can't go more than 2 days without having to bake something haha...I think my waistline probably wishes I'd had a 7 week break!

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  8. I love the colour of the frosting - it's so pretty!

    Have you thought about buying one of those make-your-own-yoghurt machines? Seems rough to deprive yourself of yoghurt!

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    1. Thanks! That is a good idea about the yoghurt machine! I hadn't thought about that! but we're heading back to the UK in the summer so it's probably not the best idea to start buying new appliances at this point...I guess I'll just have a yoghurt fest when I get home!

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  9. These are truly amazing!! I'm jealous I wasn't there when you made them! Raspberry's are one of my all time favorite berries! Well, they are actually on top of my list... :0)

    I'm an expat American living in England .... I have learned to "like" England peanut butter.... and I use my American slang all the time "Candy" is one I haven't been able to shake even after 8 years! I'm always glad to read I wasn't the only one who had a time when as you said the honeymoon period was over and the homesickness, for lack of a better word, took over for a while.

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    1. Hey Lisa! I think raspberries are top of my list too! Glad to hear we're both in the same boat! I see you live near Reading too...I used to live there a few years ago! I find it funny that although I knew ahead of time most of the American words that were different to the words we use, that Canadian people don't seem to know any of our English words...don't they watch movies or hear about it otherwise!

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  10. These cupcakes sound incredible and I love the pretty pink frosting. The filling sounds so irresistible I can imagine the cupcakes would be eaten pretty quickly!

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    1. Thanks Lucy. We took them to our friends house and her 2 year old devoured a whole one in about 15 seconds...and smooshed it into her highchair first and then licked it up!! and then once that one was done she went and helped herself to another! it was pretty funny to watch!

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  11. These look absolutely yummy yum yum!

    Angela

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  12. Raspberries are my all-time favourite fruit to bake with...and raspberries and chocolate are the perfect combination!!! Your cupcakes look lovely and perfect for Valentines too! :-)

    You'd be most welcome to add these to our February Calendar Cakes challenge...the theme is love! But either way they're great :-)

    http://www.dollybakes.co.uk/p/calendar-cakes.html

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    1. Hey Laura, yeah I love baking with raspberries too! I forgot, I had actually meant to add this to the love theme as I saw that was the challenge this month...but I'm blogging another bake tomorrow that will fit the bill too!

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  13. I love the look of these cupcakes and the whipped chocolate-raspberry ganache filling sounds to die for! I'm not sure there could be any better way of combining the two flavours in a cupcake!

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