Silicone muffin trays – I like the shape these give my cupcakes
A medium ice cream scoop is perfect for portioning the cupcake batter
A stand mixer or handheld beater
I use a cupcake corer to cut the perfect size hole in each cupcake
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line your muffin tins with paper cases.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well to combine.
In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined... just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy-handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.
Fill the cupcake cases only to about ⅔ full. Bake in the oven for around 18-20 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven halfway through to make sure they bake evenly. When a toothpick inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
FOR THE CHERRY JAM
In a saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t catch, for around 20 minutes or until the liquid has almost disappeared. Allow to cool
FOR THE CREAMY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the milk, half of the sugar and the flour. Continue to heat and whisk regularly for another 3-4 minutes until you have a very thick paste (like glue).
Transfer it to a plate, spread it out to about 1cm thick, then cover it with plastic wrap pressing the plastic wrap to the surface. Place in the freezer for around 25 minutes until cool (not cold or frozen, but no longer warm).
Beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium for about 5 minutes or until very light and creamy - scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often.
Add the cream cheese and beat until combined and smooth (only about 1 minute). Now add the milk paste mixture ⅓ at a time, beating for about 30 seconds between each. On the last one, beat for a minute, still on medium. Again, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Place the cherry jam into a plastic piping bag and chop off the end. Pipe around a teaspoon into the holes of each cupcake.
Transfer the cream cheese frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the top of your cupcakes. Place in the fridge while you make the ganache.
Place the chocolate in a small heatproof dish. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until its bubbling, then pour it over the chocolate. Give the dish a gentle shake so all the chocolate is submerged. Leave for a few minutes, then stir to a smooth glossy ganache. Transfer to a small squeeze bottle and squeeze gently over the top of your cupcakes, letting some drizzle down the side. Place in the fridge to set for 1/2 an hour before topping with cherries and serving.
I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
You can substitute frozen cherries for the fresh ones on top.
I definitely recommend trying this version of cream cheese frosting as it's super light and creamy but if you want a more traditional one, try this one.