Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cherry Dr Pepper Cupcakes

A co-worker in my office is turning 19, so for her birthday I wanted to do something a little different and something fun.  The idea of baking using carbonated drinks, such as Coke or root beer has been around awhile, but I have not really used soda too much in recipes on my blog.

This particular recipe originally used Coke, but I decided to try it with Dr. Pepper.  Actually, I think it was the little cans I spied in the grocers that had me latch on to this particular soda.  I had mentioned this recipe to a few people and their first thought was that there were too many flavors in this to even taste good.  Kind of takes me back to a review I saw on a recipe once..."every one in the family went to bed with upset stomachs!"  That review just happened to be tied to another cherry chocolate combination.

This recipe actually does have a great balance of flavor which is key when you have a lot of different flavor ingredients coming together.  Having soda, cocoa, cherries and cream in one recipe can have its challenges.  However, there is not one flavor here that is overpowering and each flavor compliments the others.  Also, the separate flavors can be recognized in each bite. This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dz cupcakes.

Cherry Dr Pepper Cupcakes
adapted from Homemade by Holman and discovered on Pass the Sushi 

2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups Dr Pepper ( not diet)
1 can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs cocoa
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup or 2 sticks butter, room temp

Ingredients Glaze
3-4 tbs Dr Pepper
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp whipped cream stabilizer (optional)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
maraschino cherries (optional for decoration)

Prepare the muffin tins by greasing the top edge of each cavity and lining with cupcake liners.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start by making the cake batter.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  This will take about 1 minute at medium high speed with the mixer.  Add one egg and beat for 30 seconds, then do the same with the second egg.  Set aside.

In one medium size bowl, sift together the cocoa, flour, salt and baking soda.  In another bowl, pour in the Dr. Pepper. Let it sit so that all the foam is gone.  Then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.  Again, let it sit for 3 minutes for the carbonation to settle.

Using a wooden spoon, mix in 1/4 of the sifted ingredients to the butter batter until thoroughly combined.  Pour in 1/3 of the Dr Pepper mixture and stir.  Repeat process in the same intervals, ending with the last 1/4 of the sifted ingredients.  Then beat at medium speed until all lumps are gone.

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter.  Place pan in oven and bake until top springs back when lightly touched or tester comes out clean.  This should take about 18-20 minutes.  Remove muffin tins and let cupcakes rest for 5 minutes in pan.  Then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling.

While this is cooling, strain the pie filling into a small bowl and reserve the liquid.  Take the cherries and toss into a blender.  Pulse cherries a few times and then stir back into the liquid filling.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut a cone shaped core out of the middle of each cupcake using a paring knife.  Then cut the corner off of a zip lock back and insert a large piping tip or use as is.  Fill with the cherry filling and pipe into the cored out center of the cupcake, smoothing the top.

The next step would be glazing the cupcakes. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl and pour in Dr. Pepper.  Stir mixture and check consistency.  If it is too runny, add more sugar and if too thick add more Dr. Pepper.  Once the desired consistency is achieved, spoon onto cupcakes, leaving a small border on the edge so it will not drip down the sides.

After the glaze is set, chill a bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Remove and fill with cream and beat on low speed for 1 minute.  Then add the stabilizer and powdered sugar.  Beat on medium high until it holds stiff peaks.  Decoratively pipe the cream on top of each cupcakes and place 1 maraschino cherry on top.

Tips and Notes:
1. For appearance purposes I cut the top off of mini cans of  Dr.  Pepper.  Due to the sharp edge of the can, it is not recommended to serve the cupcake placed inside the can.
2. The pie filling can size is questionable, but I did have a lot left over.  Since the filling is from a can and not prepared, start with 1/2 cup and then make another if you run out. The chopped cherries will add more volume to the original amount of the filling.
3. Do not be concerned if cake crumbs or filling gets swirled into the glaze as you are smoothing it on top of the cupcake.  The whipped cream topping with conceal most of this.
                                         **LAST YEAR: Peach Amaretto Bread Pudding**