Usually you would use canned cherries in the cake so I wasn't sure if dried would work or be too chewy. I had no need to worry as they worked out beautifully, packing quite a sour cherry punch which paired nicely with the dark chocolate. The only downside I found was the cherries had a tendency to stick to the cupcake liner when you peeled it off. I used foil cupcake liners & am wondering if the sticking would have happen if I'd used paper instead.
I chose to use rum to flavor my cupcakes because I read that is what they use in Austria (ok, it was also what I had in the house). Kirsh is also commonly used to add even more cherry flavor. You can also leave the alcohol out completely.
Black Forest Cupcake
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/8 c Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
3 T water
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 T well beaten egg
1/8 c plain yogurt
1/2 T rum or kirsh (or just use vanilla)
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 c dried sour cherries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare muffin tins.
Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (it will be a little bit lumpy).
Coat the bottom of each muffin tin with a little batter then sprinkle in a single layer of dried cherries. Finish filling muffin tins to about 2/3 full for rounded cupcakes or 1/2 full for flat cupcakes. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. It's a moist cake, so don't worry if a few crumbs stick to your tester.
Allow cupcakes to cool.
Makes 4 - 6 cupcakes.
Whipped Cream Frosting
(Adapted from Allrecipes)
The gelatin in this whipped cream makes it hold up to piping, just make sure it is completely melted so you don't get lumps.
1/2 c heavy cream
1 t confectioners sugar
1/4 t vanilla
3/4 t cold water
1/4 t unflavored gelatin
Whip the cream, sugar & vanilla together just until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Mix the water & gelatin together in a small bowl and microwave briefly, about 10 seconds, until the gelatin is dissolved. Allow to cool slightly but not get hard. Add to cream & continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Makes enough to frost 6 cupcakes.