Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Happy Valentine's Day! I don't love the concept Valentine's day, nor do I hate it. It is no worse than any other holiday as far as being over-commercialized or even the fact that not everyone has someone to celebrate with. February 14th is special to me however, because it is mine and K.C.'s anniversary. Today is 7 years since our very first date!
He tends to be pretty indifferent when it comes to desserts. This guy is lacking a sweet tooth! I decided to go with chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes. Not because either of us particularly like chocolate covered strawberries, but because I thought they would make a pretty cupcake.
These are pretty labor intensive, but totally worth it if you even remotely like strawberries and chocolate.

For the cake:
White cake mix
Bake according to box directions, sub milk for water.

For the filling:
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I used mini)
approximately 1 cup heavy cream
Strawberries- cored

Technically you should use heavy cream for this. However, I had already been to the grocery store twice when I realized my cream was not good. I wasn't going back! So I used about 1 cup milk with 2 tbsp butter. Heat the cream (or milk + butter) in a saucepan until it begins to boil. Pour a small amount over the chocolate chips. Let it set for a minute to begin melting the chocolate then stir. If needed, add more of the hot cream to get a smooth pourable consistency. You don't want this too thin though!

Use a cupcake corer to core each cupcake. The larger size is perfect for this. Spoon a bit of the chocolate ganache into each cupcake. Fit a cored strawberry into each hole. I chose to dip the strawberries in the ganache before putting them in the cupcake. You can never have too much chocolate!

For the frosting:
8 oz mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
1 stick butter
frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
powdered sugar

Mix the cheese and butter. Add in a few spoonfuls of strawberry syrup with some strawberry matter. Add powdered sugar. This is a really subjective recipe. Use less strawberry for a thicker frosting or more for a stronger flavor. Pipe the frosting on however you would like. Remember, this is like a cream cheese frosting so it doesn't hold shape real well.

For the topping:
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
cooking oil

Begin melting the chocolate and add a bit of oil. Stir until completely smooth. Spoon slowly over the frosting. This will create a shell very similar to the chocolate shell for ice cream. Before the chocolate hardens add whatever decorations you choose. I just loved the colors of these candy pearls and sixlets.

I hope you'll give these a try! They are definitely worth it.

-Happy Baking!