26 October 2011

in a dark, spooky forest

On a dark and stormy night, deep in the forest with only the light of the moon to guide me I found... the perfect cupcake.  I've been racking my brain the past few days trying to come up with some spooky, scary Halloween recipes that don't necessarily use pumpkin (but a few do so prepare yourself!)  I've also been meaning to drop off a batch of goodies to my in-patient PTs since I can kinda sorta walk these days.  And one of my favorite cakes in the world is a Black Forest cake and believe it or not, I've never made one.  With all these thoughts running through my brain, I decided that my best bet would be to combine them all into Deep in the Dark Black Forest Cupcakes (made especially for my super amazing physical therapists!)

lady gaga as the evil witch in hansel & gretel (from Vogue Italia)
I know I know, the Black Forest is really just a regular old forest in Germany but it sure sounds creepy; like the kind of woodland that Hansel and Gretel got lost in, where you might stumble across the home of a wicked witch, or the scene of a camping trip gone horrible wrong!  Spoooooky.  And there really isn't anything scary or intimidating about the recipe - it's just a basic chocolate cake with a splash of cherry brandy, cherry filling and a whipped cream icing.  I guess it's really just the namesake that makes it sound Halloween appropriate but don't worry, I found a way to make it even scarier.  How?  By using boxed cake mix and canned cherry pie filling, dun dun dun!  Yes, I totally cheated but I was exhausted and happened to have a box of chocolate cake mix on the shelf from that time it was super on sale at the Key Foods.  Besides, it was Devil's Food Cake mix so... don't give me a hard time, I already feel like a horrible cheater!  Not that it really matters because I totally added my own little spin on the usual directions by using a cherry moonshine (think West Virginia Werewolves to keep up the creepiness) instead of the usual Black Forest required cherry brandy making it a devilish black forest.  And my filling was a combination of cherry pie filling and scary dark black cherry preserves.  I guess I could have dyed the whipped cream an eerie blood red with some food coloring but I just thought of that now so it's a wash; next time.  They were delicious and brought smiles to my PTs so it was all worth it... until everyone realizes that they were really made with POISON! [insert evil cacklehere]  Just kidding!  Happy Halloweek everyone!

deep in the dark black forest cupcakes
1 box devil's food cake mix
3 eggs
1 c water
1/3 c cherry moonshine (or brandy if you can't get your hands on the moonshine)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 can cherry pie filling
1/4 c black cherry preseves
2 c heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
splash of vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 cupcake tins.  In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to directions (mix, eggs, oil & water) subbing out 1/3 c water for the cherry moonshine.  Fill the cupcake liners a little more than halfway with the batter.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
2. When the cupcakes have cooled, core them by cutting out a small hole nearly to the bottom but not all the way down.  Make sure to keep the tops of the cake pieces you've cut out, but you can snack on the insides!  In a small bowl mix together the cherry pie filling and the cherry preserves.  Scoop about a teaspoon amount of the cherry mix into each hollowed out cupcake trying to make it more cherries than goopy stuff (you know, the gelatinous stuff around the cherries?) and cap it off with the reserved cupcake tops.
3. In the bowl of your mixer, whip together the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla (and maybe food coloring if you want) until you have fluffy and delicious whipped cream.  Generously ice the cupcakes with the whipped cream. Garnish with some dark chocolate shavings and a cherry!

1 comment:

  1. there better be one in the freezer for me. love the tiny little green depression glass cake plate.