my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

January 23, 2011

chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes

there is a contest i found online that i wanted to enter. you had to come up with an original valentine themed dessert, and there was a chance to win $250. they were looking for something sugary and sweet, and it sounded right up my alley, so i decided to give it a try.

all week i have been thinking about exactly what i wanted to make, and how exactly to make it. for all the cooking and baking that i do, very rarely do i make anything that is only my own. i take and try different recipes, tweak them a little, combine two recipes together, maybe add or drop an ingredient, but it's nothing i'd call coming up with an original recipe of my own. i know i have the ability, but honestly, i am a lazy cook, and never felt the need to come up with my own recipe when there are hundreds of thousands of recipes out there, all i need to do is a quick search and i could find one that would suit my needs.

now though, there is a contest, with the chance at a fabulous cash prize, and i'll admit that, in this case, my greed overcame my laziness. so i asked friends what they thought of when they heard "valentine's day dessert," and the overwhelming response was chocolate and strawberries and a combination of the two. that meant i had to come up with a dessert that would be easy and delicious.

after much thought and careful consideration for all the different parts, this is what i came up with: a chocolate covered strawberry cupcake. it's a yummy chocolate cupcake, glazed with strawberry jelly then covered in chocolate ganache, and the super awesome surprise is that it's filled with strawberry frosting. sounds good, right? well, being that i can't post my wonderful creation and enter that contest, i figured i would share the recipe with all my friends. so here it is:

1 box dark chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cup cold coffee
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup strawberry jelly
1 tablespoon water
1 container strawberry frosting
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (not chips)
fresh strawberries (for garnish)
sweetened whipped cream (for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cupcake pans.
2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, substituting coffee for water, and using the oil and eggs. Fill cupcake pans and bake.
3. Cool cakes in pans about 10 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack, upside-down, and cool completely.
4. Mix jelly and water in small bowl and microwave until warm. Stir until smooth. Using pastry brush, brush glaze all over cooled cakes, and let dry 30 minutes, still upside down.
5. Fill piping bag fitted with large star tip with prepared strawberry frosting. Using piping bag, fill cupcakes with 1-3 tablespoons of frosting, pushing the tip into the flat bottoms of the cakes, and slowly pulling out while squeezing the bag.
6. Roughly chop chocolate and put in heat proof bowl. Heat cream in pan on medium heat until simmering, being careful not to let boil. Pour heated cream over chocolate and let stand 3-5 minutes until chocolate is soft. Whisk smooth.
7. Using off-set spatula or knife, spread warm chocolate mixture over the flat bottom of the cakes and down the sides, until covered. Smooth coating, let dry 30 minutes.
8. When serving, put individual cake on plate, surround with whipped cream, top with strawberry.
9. Enjoy!

update: i feel very silly now. my wonderful hubby figured out what i was doing wrong, fixed everything for me, and now my recipe is submitted. you can vote once a day, so why not go and check it out.

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