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:

Raspberry beret cupcake

We started with a devil’s food cake batter as the base:

Devil's food cake batter

Filled up some cute pink polka dot cups:

Filling Cupcake Cups

Made a mixture of cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla:

Cream cheese topping ingredients

Whipped it up, and then added a cup of semisweet chocolate chips:

Cream Cheese and Chocolate Chips

The cream cheese mixture got spooned on top of the uncooked cake batter:

Adding Cream Cheese Mixture

We swirled it up to make sure it didn’t just sink directly to the bottom:

Swirling Cream Cheese Mixture

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.

Baked Cupcake

After they cooled a bit, we cut holes into the middle using an apple corer so that we could add filling:

Coring Cupcakes

What kind of filling, you ask?  Raspberry, of course!  We started with raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice:

Raspberries and Sugar

Once that reached a boil and the sugar was well incorporated, we strained out the juice to use in the frosting later:

Straining Cooked Raspberries

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:

Boiling Raspberry Filling

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:

Straining Raspberry Sauce

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!

Leftover Raspberry Seeds

We scooped some sauce into a squeeze bottle and used it to fill the holes in our cupcakes:

Raspberry Filling

The next step was the dark chocolate ganache.  We started by chopping chocolate down into chunks:

Chopping dark chocolate

Then we let some heavy cream heat up to just below boiling and poured it over the chocolate:

Adding cream to chocolate

We let it sit for 2 minutes, then stirred until evenly melted and smooth.  You could just dive right in, right?

Stirring Chocolate Ganache

We piped it on to the cupcakes and then smoothed it out with the back of a spoon:

Frosting Cupcakes

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:

Cream Cheese Frosting Base

After they were well combined, we added the raspberry juice.  It became such a pretty color pink!

Raspberry Pink Frosting

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:

I broke the measuring cup!

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):

Adding powdered sugar to frosting

Once that was all mixed up, we started to pipe.  Action shot:

Piping raspberry frosting

Isn’t Lisa’s piping gorgeous?  We used a star tip for these, and they were looking like the quintessential pink frosted cupcakes:

Pink Frosting

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:

Jaunty Frosting

All these pretty things needed was a little bit of garnish on top.  We picked out some lovely fresh ripe raspberries:

Raspberry Garnish

We added them to the top and admired our handy work:

cupcake with raspberry on top

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:

Lisa, post taste test

We got some very positive feedback from our taste testers.  Comments included: “Best ones yet.  Better than S’mores.”

Pretty Pink Cupcake

“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.”

Elegant Raspberry Cupcake

“Uh, I need a couple minutes alone with the cupcake…”  Hehehe, couldn’t have said it better myself.  Yay for Raspberry Berets!

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Comments (5)

C&C CakeryAugust 16th, 2010 at 11:20 am

I’m so glad you guys are entering cupcake competitions. It’s a great way to get your tasty creations known out in this big crazy world. This one looks absolutely amazing – this has to be my favourite going into this month’s Cupcake Hero. The best of luck!

(Prince would be so proud)

[...] KT and Lisa’s Raspberry Beret Cupcakes  (recipe) [...]

XiaoluAugust 18th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I love chocolate and cheesecake, and of course raspberries, so these are right up my alley. Great musical title, too. So fun!

LisaAugust 18th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Thanks so much! We were very pleased with how these turned out and we hope to entice folks so that when we have our very own cupcakery they’ll want to come say hello and give them a try! I’m also a *huge* Prince fan, so should he ever want to try a Raspberry Beret I’d gladly make it happen =D

Cupcake Hero – Voting |August 20th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

[...] has begun for the Cupcake Hero – Raspberry contest!  If you tried/wish you could try our Raspberry Beret cupcakes, please vote for us!  The poll is here and we’re listed as “KT and [...]

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