Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
These are very easy, very good — somehow light and dense at the same time — and I love their dark, glossy elegance. When I made them for the cake sale at my daughter's school fair, they sold, even at more than a dollar a piece, quicker than anything else.
The jam I use for these is a morello cherry preserve; if you're using a less elegant and probably sweeter confection, reduce the sugar in the cakes a little. And if you have any Kirsch about the place, then add a splash to the batter and icing.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on the heat to melt. When nearly completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment to begin softening, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Now add the cherry jam, sugar, salt, and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon and when all is pretty well amalgamated, stir in the flour.
- Scrape and pour into the muffin baking cups in their pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out.
- When the cupcakes are cool, break the chocolate for the icing into little pieces and add them to the cream in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and then whisk — by hand or electrically — till thick and smooth. Ice the cupcakes, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon, and stand a cherry in the center of each.
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