Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

20120829-164140.jpgThe flavors chocolate and raspberry were meant to be together; sweet, tart raspberries with rich, dark chocolate. They’re one of those combinations where the result is better than the sum of its parts. So to combine them in a moist, chocolate cupcake, filled with raspberry preserves, and topped with melt-in-your-mouth rich chocolate frosting, you’ve reached absolute cupcake perfection. The cupcake is made similarly to a brownie; melted butter and chocolate are stirred into the dry ingredients until just combined, with sour cream for moistness.

20120829-202234.jpgThey are baked, cooled, and the centers are removed and eaten filled with preserves, then the frosting. THE FROSTING. The frosting starts out by whipping butter for five minutes, until fluffy, where actual melted chocolate is added along with confectioners’ sugar. They are topped with a generous amount of frosting in the form of a gorgeous swirl.
Add sprinkles and…perfection! If love were a cupcake…

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Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Cooks illustrated

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup (1.5 ounces) dark cocoa powder
¾ cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream
Raspberry preserves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If you are using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.) Line standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.

2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.

4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.

5. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

7. Scoop out centers using a teaspoon or a teaspoon sized scoop; fill with preserves.

You can find the frosting recipe here: Chocolate Buttercream

Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles or as desired.

Yield: 12

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