Cupcake Hero – Raspberry Beret
There are quite a few online cupcake competitions that we want to start participating in, but up until recently we either weren’t inspired by the ingredient or couldn’t make the deadline. This month’s Cupcake Hero contest is a different story since the theme is Raspberry (yum!) and we got an early start. In order to come up with a concept for our submission, we asked ourselves what tastes great with raspberry? We came up with two answers: cheesecake and dark chocolate. We decided to create a cupcake that had both – chocolate cheesecake cupcakes, raspberry filling, dark chocolate ganache, and raspberry cream cheese frosting. But what to call it? As we joked about how a badly off-center piping job looked like a jaunty hat, one of our volunteer tasters said, “Hey, it’s a ‘Raspberry Beret’!” Perfect – a Prince song is so totally our style! And so, we present to you, Raspberry Beret cupcakes:
We started with a devil’s food cake batter as the base:
Filled up some cute pink polka dot cups:
Made a mixture of cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla:
Whipped it up, and then added a cup of semisweet chocolate chips:
The cream cheese mixture got spooned on top of the uncooked cake batter:
We swirled it up to make sure it didn’t just sink directly to the bottom:
They baked up pretty, though not as golden brown as we would have liked. Perhaps because the Arizona air is so dry, we’ve found that you have to underbake cupcakes just a bit in order to make sure they stay moist. They never quite get golden on the top because of that – luckily, frosting covers that up.
After they cooled a bit, we cut holes into the middle using an apple corer so that we could add filling:
What kind of filling, you ask? Raspberry, of course! We started with raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice:
Once that reached a boil and the sugar was well incorporated, we strained out the juice to use in the frosting later:
Then the berries went back on the stove with some cornstarch to thicken up the remaining goo. At this point, it starts just looking like seeds:
All those seeds? Yeah, they’re going to have to come out. Once it reached the proper thickness, it went back in the strainer. We had to work at pressing the goo out for quite a while:
A few seeds made it through, but that’s okay. What’s leftover will give you a clue about why this is a really important step. Look at all these seeds!
We scooped some sauce into a squeeze bottle and used it to fill the holes in our cupcakes:
The next step was the dark chocolate ganache. We started by chopping chocolate down into chunks:
Then we let some heavy cream heat up to just below boiling and poured it over the chocolate:
We let it sit for 2 minutes, then stirred until evenly melted and smooth. You could just dive right in, right?
We piped it on to the cupcakes and then smoothed it out with the back of a spoon:
We refrigerated these while we made our raspberry cream cheese frosting so that we would have a solid base on which to pipe. The frosting was pretty simple – it started out with just butter, cream cheese, and vanilla:
After they were well combined, we added the raspberry juice. It became such a pretty color pink!
Next came adding the powdered sugar. This part is always the messiest and occasionally the most dramatic part of cupcake making. Something almost always manages to go hilariously wrong. This time, I broke the freakin’ measuring cup! Notice how it no longer has a handle:
Oooops! At least it made it into the bowl (which is more than I can say for our last cupcaking adventure – to be blogged about soon):
Once that was all mixed up, we started to pipe. Action shot:
Isn’t Lisa’s piping gorgeous? We used a star tip for these, and they were looking like the quintessential pink frosted cupcakes:
One of mine was a little off – so much so that it looked like the cupcake should be speaking in a French accent and smoking a skinny cigarette. Yep, this is the little guy whose cap of icing inspired the ‘Raspberry Beret’ name:
All these pretty things needed was a little bit of garnish on top. We picked out some lovely fresh ripe raspberries:
We added them to the top and admired our handy work:
Once we determined that they were sufficiently gorgeous, it was time for a taste test. WOW! They weren’t too sweet or too tart. The raspberry sauce in the middle cut the richness of the ganache perfectly, and the frosting had just the right balance of raspberry flavor. Lisa’s smile pretty much sums it up:
We got some very positive feedback from our taste testers. Comments included: “Best ones yet. Better than S’mores.”
“OMG lady that cupcake was soooo good, and I usually hate raspberry/chocolate. It was very well balanced though, the frosting and jelly were bright and the cake wasn’t overly sugary. That made me happy.”
“Uh, I need a couple minutes alone with the cupcake…” Hehehe, couldn’t have said it better myself. Yay for Raspberry Berets!