Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

      During this Valentine’s Day season, I am sure that, just like me, you were surrounded with the most popular symbols of this holiday: the roses in a variety of shades of reds and pinks, the infinite types of boxes of chocolates, and of course the heart shapes that covered the store shelves. While most think of Valentine’s Day has a holiday for couples, it is a holiday to celebrate love and your appreciation for someone special in your life. What better way to say that than through baked goods? While I was scrolling through recipes, I came across one from Ginny from In Bloom Bakery. Specifically, it was her raspberry chocolate cupcakes. The components within this cupcake liner are a light and fluffy chocolate cake, a raspberry chocolate ganache center, and topped with a raspberry buttercream. After printing out the recipe, I headed to my local grocery store to grab my supplies.

     While searching through the aisles, I came up against my first obstacle: my grocery store does not carry freeze dried raspberries. However, they did have freeze dried strawberries. As we all know, chocolate covered strawberries are not just a great combination, but a staple dessert this time of year. So, tweaked my game plan, and I replaced the freeze-dried raspberries and raspberry preserves for strawberry ones. After grabbing my grocery bags, I headed to my kitchen to get started at the task ahead of me.

     Here is my next obstacle: the golden rule of cooking or baking is to read through your recipe thoroughly. While I set out the unsalted butter and eggs to get to room temperature, I did not realize that I had to do the same for the whole milk and sour cream. Talk about a palm of my hand to my forehead moment. After letting these two ingredients come to room temperature, I started on my cupcake batter.

     Once cupcakes were baking, I started reviewing the next steps to my other two components: the ganache and the buttercream frosting. While it was a worknight, and it was getting late, I started to contemplate resuming the second phase of my dessert the next day. Then, I thought well, why don’t I just get them both made, and that way tomorrow I just have to assemble the cupcakes? Being the stubborn Justice that I am, I pushed through, and I got both the buttercream and ganache finished before the cupcakes cooled.

     I was in the final stretch: the assembly. I grabbed the cupcakes one at a time, creating a small indent in the center of the cupcakes, poured about a tablespoon of ganache into the hold, and then swirled the raspberry buttercream on top. Now for the final touch! Although the recipe suggested added a fresh berry to the top of each, I decided to use the chocolate sprinkles in my cupboard to decorate the cupcakes. After all, sprinkles make everything better.

     Once I placed all but one cupcake into the fridge, the single cupcake and I settled ourselves onto my comfy couch. As I dug in my fork for the first bite, I made sure to get a bit of everything: the light crumbs of the cake, the smooth pink frosting, and the raspberry ganache filling. As the flavors touched my tongue, the explosion of flavors reminded me of Remi in the movie “Ratatouille” when he saw fireworks as he experienced the combination of cheese with fruit. Okay, so while I did not necessarily see fireworks, the flavors melding together were both decadent and what I identify as a comforting dish.

     Knowing that my self-control around baked goods is weak, I decided to send the remaining cupcakes with my boyfriend to work to share with the mechanics at the body shop. If he does not take my baked goods, I will take them with me to work or I will drop them off at a relative’s house. We create shared memories with those most important in our lives with food, so why not share some cupcakes?

     As I said before, I know that this holiday typically is marketed towards lovers; however, it is not just our significant others that need to know we appreciate them. It is your parent that never missed a soccer game or dance recital, a friend who is going through a rough break up, or a kind neighbor who is there when you need a helping hand. It is crucial that you let them know how much you appreciate them, and to let them know how they have made an impact in your life. So why not express that appreciation with a mini cake?

     I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and I hope you made sure to tell those in your life how much you love and appreciate them.

Until next time!

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