Tag Archives: cupcakes

Chocolate Cakes with Port Cherries + Dried Orange Peel and Sea Salt.

As promised, the first of the four cherry recipes from my 48.6 Pound Cherry Master Plan: Chocolate Cakes with Port Cherries + Dried Orange Peel and Sea Salt. It’s really good to know that after making this recipe, I’m down a whole 12 OUNCES in cherries. I mean, sigh. of. relief VOMIT.

Chocolate Cakes with Port Cherries + Dried Orange Peel and Sea Salt
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Chocolate-Prune Cake.
++ I doubled this recipe without a problem. Doubled, makes about 2 1/2 dozen individual cakes/muffins (this is how the recipe is listed below).

320 g / 12 ounces pitted cherries, diced in small pieces
160 ml / 123 c port
2 TB sugar
1 TB dried orange peel
680 g / 24 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used half bittersweet, half semisweet)
340 g / 12 ounces (24 TB) unsalted butter, cubed
12 large eggs, separated
2 large pinches of salt
6 tablespoons sugar
Flour or cocoa for dusting
1 TB dried orange peel
1 TB sea salt


1. Simmer the cherries, sugar and orange peel with the port in a small saucepan for a few minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand until cool.

2. Heat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC).

3. In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the cherries and any liquid left in the pan.

5. Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture.

6. In a separate bowl, or using a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the salt until they begin to hold soft peaks. Continue whipping, adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the whites hold their shape when you lift the whip.

7. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture thoroughly, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until no streaks of whites are visible. Don’t overfold.

8. For the cakes, I used a large muffin pan and cut 5” squares of parchment paper for the liners. I just like the way this looks, like they come from a real live bakery. (You can use a regular muffin tin and regular liners, and I’m sure it’ll work just fine.) Using the bottom of a glass, I pushed the parchment paper into the muffin tin.

9. Spray the paper with cooking spray and dust lightly with cocoa or flour.

10. I used a 2 ounce ice cream scoop to pour the batter into the cups. This helps to maintain consistency for even cooking.

11. Mix the salt and dried orange peel together. Sprinkle as little or as much as you’d like on top of each cake.

12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes feel set close to the edges of the pan but the center is still rather soft to the touch and moist-looking. Let cool.

These cakes can be made up to three days in advance, and stored at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to two months.



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Filed under Baking, Cake, Chocolate, Cooking, Cupcakes, Kitchen, Recipes

Keeping it simple.

I really, really like cute things. Really. I especially like to make cute things. So last week, when I offered to make cupcakes for a first birthday party, I wanted to make them…….ahem………cute. I thought maybe I could learn how to use fondant – overnight! – but that was a terrible idea from the get-go. Then I thought I could make robot designs out of candy – also a terrible idea from the get-go, since the theme was blocks. I had all of these thoughts while also acknowledging that it’s a first birthday party, and how many people are really (really) going to be checking out the cupcakes since they were going to play second fiddle to the main event – the cake, which actually was made to look like wooden blocks?

But still. No one likes to put ugly things on a plate.

Thankfully, I have creative friends who can help me in my moments of need, and this time it was my friend, Dolores. She suggested making pennants out of paper. Duh. Of course. They weren’t blocks, but they were primary colors all the same. And very much like the fancy $12 cupcake sets , I made my own version. At 59 cents (each) for three pieces of paper from Michael’s, and two packages of cupcake liners from Sur La Table, I came in way under $12, and I was able to make 36 (fancy cupcake sets only give you enough for 24). Here’s the final version:

A couple things to note:

  • I used the same s’mores cupcake recipe that I listed below in a previous blog post. People love those things. However, I used a different icing recipe, since I didn’t want to brown the marshmallow. I used this buttercream marshmallow recipe, and it seemed to hold up just fine.
  • I always double-line cupcakes. I just like the way that it looks.
  • I love my mechanical pastry bag, and you would too if you had one. It’s nearly the holidays, so put it on your list.


Filed under Ideas, Recipes