Monday 20 February 2017

Chocolate blackberry cupcakes with hearts!

Some time before St Valentines Day I discovered some hearts on toothpicks that had been in my kitchen for over a year.  I was determined to use them this year.  So it had to be cupcakes.  And I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes but there was a tub of blackberries from the farmers market to be used.  So it was that on Valentines Day I found myself presenting E with a batch of chocolate blackberry cupcakes.  He was most pleased.

I confess it was a rush job.  Not much time to make the cupcakes, bake them (forgetting I had left them a few minutes more as I wrote emails), cool them by the door so I had time to frost them.  I was so pushed for time that I only iced half of them with a cream cheese frosting that I really liked.  A quick photo and then I rushed out the door.

When I got home from work, I found that Sylvia had invited a friend over to play.  They had found that some cupcakes needed icing and got to work.  In the fridge were a few tubs of leftover icing and Sylvia is very familiar with where I keep my sprinkles.  I was quite impressed with her handy work when I got home.

Apparently the cream cheese frosting was not a hit.  We had a conversation tonight about Sylvia wanting buttercream on cakes but she didn't want it too sweet.  I had to tell her the sad fact that buttercream is full of sugar.  There is no getting around it.  Sugar gives it structure.  I love trying alternatives.  The cream cheese frosting has very little sweetening.  It is like a cheesecake that doesn't have much sugar.

Now that we come to the question of sugar, I have to let you know that I think these cupcakes are not very sweet at all.  I was in such a hurry when I made them that I accidentally added chocolate that was meant for a chocolate ganache frosting.  When they came out of the oven they were not very sweet at all.  So little that I began to wonder if I had forgotten to add the 1/2 cup of sugar.  It is the sort of thing that is easy to do when dividing up sugar and racing the clock.  But I think I put it in. 

The cupcakes were on the verge of bitterness.  They were also quite dense without being stodgy.  I thought that they paired really well with the yoghurt frosting which added a little softness and sweetness, especially when quite fresh before it firmed up.  I also reduced the coffee and vanilla in the original recipe but decided next time I would leave them out altogether and have altered the recipe below accordingly.

These cupcakes were a fun experiment with blackberries, hearts and frosting.  And while we are not big on Valentines Day in our house, it is always nice to have some good food to help us enjoy the day.  I head heaps of blackberry syrup over and will let you know what I did with it soon.

I am sending these cupcakes to Treat Petite and We Should Cocoa.

More Valentine food on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Candy cane brownies
Cheese hearts
Mini Victoria sponges
Orange and rose petal biscuits
Raspberry and white chocolate scones

More Valentine posts elsewhere
Beetroot creme brulee with pomegranate seeds - Allotment to Kitchen
Beetroot soup - Thinly Spread
Loveheart styled shortbread biscuits - Only Crumbs Remain
Mocha chocolate strawberry tarts with dessert platter - Not Quite Nigella
Strawberry milkshake oreo cheesecake - The Baking Explorer
Valentine onigari hearts - The Veg Hog

Chocolate Blackberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Pastry Affair
Makes 12 cupcakes

310g fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup castor sugar, divided
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Fresh blackberries, for garnish

Heat blackberries with 1/4 cup of sugar over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Strain to make about 1/2 cup blackberries syrup.  Set aside extra syrup for frosting and keep the pulp of the fruit to mix into batter.

Preheat oven to 180 C and line 12 hole cupcake pan.

Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa, biscarb soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.  Stir in soy milk and oil.  Fold in blackberry puree and chocolate pieces.

Spoon into muffin cups (about 3/4 full) and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked. Cool on a wire rack and frost with below frosting or a buttercream frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Adapted from Laws of the Kitchen

200g cream cheese
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp blackberry syrup
1 tbsp honey

Stir cream cheese until creamy and gradually stir in yoghurt, blackberry syrup and honey.  This frosting is very soft when spread initially but sets firm by 10-12 hours and within less than 24 hours is starting to crack.

On the Stereo:
The Beekeeper: Tori Amos


  1. I am not a cupcake girl, but the fact that these are not so sweet and made with a yogurt cream frosting, really appeals and fresh blackberries that I missed out on eating last year. I love your presentation too - i have way to many toothpicks with things on the end (as well as those for cocktails) purchased but never used. Thanks for linking to my Beetroot recipe,

    I've had a few days off work so have been proper lazy - back to work tomorrow:(

    Quick question: I was trying to search for you corndogs blog post as I made some this w/e, but I could not locate it in your searchbar - please can you point me in the right direction, as I'd like to link my blog post to that post when I come to write it - thanks in advance.

  2. These look delicious Johanna. I made Mr Bite triple chocolate muffins but if I'd seen these I might have been swayed across - although more for my tastes than his as he isn't a big berry fan (so perhaps it's just as well for him I didn't see them!).

  3. They look gorgeous and perfect for valentines. I love cakes when they are a bit dense like that. I can imagine it going so well with the yoghurty topping. I must bake with blackberries more often

  4. These cupcakes look so pretty (both yours and Sylvia's), and the fact that they aren't overly sweet is good.

  5. I saw these on social media earlier and thought they looked gorgeous. Blackberry and chocolate go so well together and I much prefer a less sweet cake. x

  6. Wow look at the size of those blackberries Johanna, they're amazing (I recall the ones on the hedgerows last autumn here in the UK last autumn - they were all disappointingly small!) I love how well they go with chocolate too. love the hinky hues in your frosting from the blackberry syrup - very pretty!
    Angela x

  7. Wow. Your rushed attempt at cupcakes is better than my wholehearted attempt at cupcakes haha ;) Try as I might, it's just not something I can make easily.
    I love the idea of using blackberries! How different and clever. Terry would love these. I'm not actually a huge fan of red velvet anyway ;)
    They turned out so prettily.

  8. I prefer a dense cake to a light sponge any day. Your cupcakes look so pretty and the frosting sounds good. I didn't have a very successful brambling season last year, so I really am drooling over these. I think you're wise about the coffee. Somehow blackberries and coffee doesn't seem like the right combination. Thanks for sharing with We Should Cocoa :)


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