Friday 12 February 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Buttermilk Cupcakes for Valentines Day

Valentines Day is nearly here and it provides the perfect excuse to start thinking of pink, cute and heart shaped sweet treats. I decided to bake some Valentines themed cupcakes to share around with my friends and family, as even though I am currently without that special someone, I see that as no reason not to enjoy the baking opportunity it provides.

As chocolate and Valentines Day seem to go hand and hand, I obviously settled on chocolate cupcakes but wanted to add a little something extra to make them a bit more special. After thinking of flavour pairings I decided to mix some raspberry jam into both the cake batter and the frosting. I’m sure some people will disagree, but in my opinion chocolate and raspberries are a wonderful flavour pairing, more so than chocolate and strawberries as I find the raspberry flavour more intense against the bitter chocolate.
I have recently been experimenting with replacing some of the butter in cake mixes with buttermilk. I have found it results in a slightly denser, more fudgy yet moister cake. You don’t always want fudgy cupcakes but for a chocolate Valentines themed cake it’s perfect. When topped with a swirl of pink raspberry buttercream and a scattering of cute teeny tiny heart sprinkles it is a sweet treat emulating love and romance. A combination of fudgy chocolate base with sweet and creamy frosting finished with a hint of fruitiness. Go ahead and bake some for your friends or loved ones and whatever you do this weekend for Valentines, I hope it’s a happy one.

Chocolate Raspberry Buttermilk Cupcakes for Valentines Day
Chocolate Raspberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

120g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
60g butter
80ml buttermilk
20g cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp raspberry jam

Raspberry Buttercream
130g butter
260g icing sugar
2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
Pink food dye
Heart sprinkles to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a cupcake tray with 12 paper cases.
Your butter needs to be soft so either leave it out for a few hours or warm it gently in the microwave to soften.
Weigh out the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture starts to form a thick batter. Add the jam and pour in the buttermilk. Whisk until smooth, creamy and slightly lighter in colour, about 1 minute.
Divide the batter equally between the paper cases and bake for 20-22 minutes until the cupcakes are risen and springy to the touch.
Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter until soft and creamy before sifting in half the icing sugar. Beat until all the sugar has been incorporated and then add the remaining half of the sugar.
Tint the buttercream a pale pink and beat in the seedless raspberry jam. If the mixture seems very stiff add milk, half a tablespoon at a time, until it becomes a soft spreadable consistency.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe on the raspberry buttercream and decorate with heart shaped sugar sprinkles or other sprinkles of your choice.
Share, eat and enjoy with friends or loved ones.
Makes 12, easily doubled.


Jane said...

Hi Katie-- Your cupcakes look perfect, and your photos of them are really nice. I love pink on cupcakes more than anything else. And, I applaud your experimentation with buttermilk in cake batter! I think that's a pretty interesting and intriguing recipe alteration.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!


Chele said...

I love them!!! And I thik you are totally right, chocolate and raspberries go hand in hand. Love the swirly icing too. Perfection!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

You're so good at piping!! They look very professional

Author said...

These look delicious, and very professional! I totally agree about buttermilk in a cake batter, natural yog works well too. Thanks for sharing, they are beautiful.

Suelle said...

I agree with you - chocolate and raspberries are much better partners than chocolate and strawberries.

Lovely looking cupcakes!

Unknown said...

Wow! And I bet you will have that many valentines lining up!!!!

Johanna GGG said...

I have just bought raspberries and (white) chocolate this morning for a little valentines treat so I agree with you about this combination - these cupcakes look delicious - and the buttermilk substitution sounds interesting

Monica H said...

These are so pretty and pick and festive and I love them. Can you tell I want some? :-)

great combination of flavors too.

BTW, we could cook together. I just don't like raw onions or canned peas- gag! Otherwise we're good :-)

Melissa said...

looks so yummy! i absolutely agree about the chocolate and favorite combo!!

Simones Kitchen said...

They look so gorgeous!! And no need to reserve those for valentines day only ofcourse; you could easily eat those the entire year round!

The Caked Crusader said...

I love buttermilk in cakes - it gives such a lovely texture. These are as cute as cupcakes get!

Pity said...

I'm a buttermilk lover myself, and your cupcakes look amazing, well done! cheers from london

Choclette said...

Raspberries and chocolate are a fantastic flavour combination. And there's something about the sound of buttermilk that almost ensures it's going to be delicious. I haven't managed to find any buttermilk locally, I've been looking out for a while now. I'm sure you made plenty of people's valantine's day with these cupcakes - they look so pretty.

Unknown said...

Oh these cupcakes look adorable!! Great job with the experimentation, might I suggest trying yoghurt? I love how it tastes in cakes!