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10 February 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Hugs Cupcakes



Let the recapping continue. Weird fact before I begin. I probably "start" a post like 10 times, only to delete it and try again.  I obviously do not usually write about it, but today I was kinda irritated by the non-flow (is that a word...non-flowingness....I should probably not be in grad school...haha) of my post :/ BUMMMMM-ERRRR...that's pretty much how I sound in real life. Hahaha...I've probably convinced half of you that, you would never want to meet me in person ;)



Okay, well the day after my birthday dinner with the fam bam (i.e., my actual birthDAY) -- was very full. I started the day attending  a baby shower thrown for my cousin. Fun fact: she is due any minute now....and I'm just waiting to hear about her new baby girl :) It was a sweet shower, with yummy food and quality time with my cousins. It was super cute, because they knew it was my birthday so they surprised me (after my cousin cut her baby shower cake) with an ice cream birthday cake.


 Another fun fact (are these even fun for you?): before the pizookie platter birthday cake obsession, I would always insist on having a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake. Why? Because the cake of an ice cream cake (the half cake-half ice cream kind), for some reason, taste differently than a cake not topped with ice cream. Sadly it was so hot in California (yes, in January) that the cake melted by the time they came....whomp whomp...BUT I am totally a person who believes in the thought that counts :) And it made me smile and feel special! Another reason why I LOVE my family. The rest of my birthday-day....to be continued....(dun, dun, dunnnnnnn.....::not a very good cliffhanger::)


So, it is now Day 3 of my countdown to LOVE (or as other people like to non-awkwardly say...Valentine's Day). The hubby stumbled upon these seasonal raspberry Hershey's hugs. Usually you see chocolate covered strawberries, but I have also seen chocolate paired with raspberrry so I thought why not try to incorporate that into a dessert. Plus I wanted to try out this really cool recipe I found for incorporating jam into buttercream, and I happened to have a bottle of raspberry jam that I mistakenly picked up for strawberry jam that I needed to use! AND I hadn't made cupcakes in FOREVER....so it was like a win, win, win... :)


Photograph taken by the amazing Helen

Anther photograph taken by the amazing Helen :)




CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY HUGS CUPCAKES
Cupcake concept inspired from Bru Crew Life
Buttercream adapted from Your Cup of Cake

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 325F

CUPCAKES
1 box of Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake (or equivalent substitute)
1 c. of water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature
18 raspberry Hershey's hugs

RASPBERRY BUTTERCREAM
1 1/2stick of butter, softened
2/3 c. raspberry jam
3-5 c. powdered sugar, sifted
heavy cream (if needed for thinning)
Sprinkles
18 raspberry Hershey's hugs

DIRECTIONS

For the cupcakes:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment -- sift in cake mix (I hate lumps). Then add in water, vegetable oil and eggs. Mix on low speed until ingredients are combined.

Line a cupcake pan with liners. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each liner about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes (on bottom rack) until inserted toothpick comes out clean. I bake cupcakes at a lower temperature on the bottom rack, but for the same amount of time, because it creates fluffier cupcakes. 

Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes. Then insert, point facing downward, one raspberry Hershey's hug into the center of each cupcakes, pushing down until flush with top of cupcakes (see above picture).

For the raspberry buttercream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream butter and raspberry jam until creamy. Add in sifted powdered  sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. You want buttercream to be stiff enough to hold shape when pipped. If too much powdered sugar is added, add 1 tbsp. of heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.

Pipe buttercream onto cupcake. Garnish with sprinkles, if desired, and top with a raspberry Hershey's hug.

Enjoy,
Chika

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