Cherries are really sweet and charming. They cuddle the lips with juicy, syrupy touch and provide immediate comfort to the thirty or hungry explorer. Cherries had centuries to learn how to indulge the human kind.
The ancestors of today’s domestic cherries originated in the Caucasus Mountains and were carried to Europe (Rome) in ancient times. There were no cherry trees in Europe until 74 B.C., says Pliny the Elder, but within 120 years cherry trees would “spread as far as Britain.” He also described three varieties of tame sweet cherries, including the Junian cherry that “has a pleasant taste, but only if eaten under its tree, since it is so tender that it cannot stand being transported.”
Domestic cherries didn’t become widespread throughout Europe and Britain until the 15th century. However, by the 17th century, cherries were so popular that, like apples, peaches, plums and pears, cherries crossed the wide Atlantic with America’s Founding Fathers.
The Chocolate and Morello Cherry Cupcake is the perfectly suitable homage paid to this wise, old fruit, and its long-standing love affair with the womanizer chocolate.
140 g sugar
140 g butter
140 g eggs (about 3 medium)
150 gr flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp Morello cherry jam, plus extra to fill
100 g Morello cherry compote
115 g cream cheese
115 g butter
2 tbsp smooth Morello cherry jam
480 g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the jam. Fold in the flour cocoa powder using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is the right consistency. Finally mix in the cherries. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are 3/4 full (can be measured to 65 g of mixture).
Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled cut the top in a cone shape, fill with jam and place the “lid” back on the cupcake.
For the butter cream icing, beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Then add the remaining icing sugar with jam together, adding some milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl. Decorate by choice.