Chocolate baking chips kicked off a major inspiration. One mention of them leads to a brainstorm of ideas. What flavor to enhance and pair well with dark 60% cacao chips? Cherry immediately came to mind. How to infuse cherry flavor to match the depth of the chocolate? Kirschwasser, a.k.a. cherry brandy, works wonderfully. Soon it was all put together in Chocolate Kirsch Cupcakes.
Which baking chips caused the inspiration? It was none other than the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips. The chips have a little less sweetness than semi-sweet ones. They are also a bit larger than typical baking chips which mean more flavor impact. Using them is a great way to give baked goods an extra punch of rich, dark chocolate.
How are the Chocolate Kirsch Cupcakes? The cupcakes are deep chocolate accented with those wonderful chips and flavored with Kirschwasser. They have an airy texture complimented with a fluffy seven minute frosting made with maraschino cherry juice. The juice gives the frosting a light cherry flavor and the prettiest pale pink color. They are finished with a maraschino cherry on top.
How often do you bake with chocolate chips? It’s quite often for me. I use them in bread, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more. Take a look at my Buttermilk Chocolate Quick Bread and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars. I use and recommend Ghirardelli brand which can be found at grocery, mass and club stores nationwide. One last note on the Chocolate Kirsch Cupcakes: They are great for Valentine’s Day and any occasion for adults. They contain alcohol as an ingredient and are not suited for children.
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup kirshwasser (cherry brandy)
- ¾ cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
- ⅓ cup maraschino cherry juice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Maraschino cherries for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, cream butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Combine milk and kirshwasser in a measuring cup.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternatively with the milk in two additions, mixing on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Stir in baking chips.
- Fill muffin cups ¾ full. There may be a small amount of extra batter. Discard extra or use it to make extra cupcakes.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from muffin pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Frost with cherry seven minute frosting. Garnish with maraschino cherries.
- Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
- In a heat-proof bowl (metal or glass), add the cherry juice, sugar, egg whites, cream of tarter and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Set bowl over simmering water and mix with a handheld electric mixer on low speed. A whisk attachment works well however you can use regular beaters.
- Increase the speed to high and beat mixture until it holds stiff peaks, about 7 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from over the pan and set on kitchen towel. Continue to beat until mixture is cool, glossy, and billowy, about 2 minutes more.
- Beat in vanilla. Use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container.
Disclosure: I received a stipend from Ghirardelli to purchase ingredients for recipe development and was not compensated for writing this post. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated or contained within a guest post.