31 January 2009

She's My Cherry Pie Brownie Cupcakes

Baking for me is usually a solitary activity (unless my son is around -- he likes to measure out the ingredients and of course, lick the bowl) and a fairly relaxing one. I usually don't have my computer too far away and I randomly select songs to listen to from my music downloads or youtube when baking. Oftentimes, I'll get a song stuck in my head that either has to do with one of the ingredients I'm using or the theme of the cupcakes I'm making. The Valentine's Day orders have already started coming in and 2 of the songs that have not escaped me are "Poison Arrow" by ABC (really not a great idea to be thinking about poison while baking for other people, methinks!) and "Boum" by Charles Trenet.

If you read my blog often, you know I make lots of references to late'80's/early '90's music (I know, I know, a really bad transitional time for music -- post disco/pre-grunge) but those were my teen years and so what are you gonna do? Lately, I have been catching up with old classmates, friends, barmates and even exes on facebook, and have been reminiscing about all the old days -- big shoulder pads, big hair, lots of black eyeliner, etc. Lots of the music from those days has been in heavy rotation in my kitchen as I think about these wild and crazy times. So where am I going with all this? Well, I recently came across a blog called elly says opa! and their "Eat to the Beat" installment where bakers blog about food that has been inspired by a particular song or artist. Whoa Nelly (yes, I also listen to Nelly Furtado) was this an event for me!

And here is where this all comes together...I've seen cherries springing up in all the markets lately and they happen to be one of my favorite fruits! I can't help but think of that genius of a song, Cherry Pie by Warrant, when I see them. I mean how is this for lyrics?:

Swingin in the living room
Swingin' in the kitchen
Most folks don't
Cause they're too busy bitchin'
Swingin' in there
Cause she wanted me to feed her
So I mixed up the batter
And she licked the beater

I scream, you scream,
We all scream for her
Don't even try
Cause you can't ignore her

She's my cherry pie
Cool drink of water
Such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie
Oh yeah

As I said, G-E-N-I-U-S!

Anyway, that's the story of the inspiration behind these cupcakes -- a chocolate brownie cupcake filled with cherry jam and topped with whipped cream. They "taste so good (they'll) make a grown man cry"! Pls. feel free to leave me a comment telling me who you like to cook to and if an artist or song has ever inspired you to create a new dish. Enjoy!

She’s My Cherry Pie Brownie Cupcakes
(adapted from a recipe by Coco&Me/Chocolate and Zucchini Luxury Brownies, and inspired by Jani Lane and the big-haired boys from Warrant)

- 4 ozs. unsalted butter, diced
- 2 bars good bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- A good pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cups unrefined cane sugar
- 3 eggs

Yields about 18 cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F) and place cupcake liners in two muffin tins.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler (or just a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), stirring regularly to ensure even melting. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In the meantime, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs in one by one, whisking well after each addition. Incorporate the flour mixture, working gently with a spatula, until very little visible trace of flour remains; do not overwork the dough as you don't want it too cakey.

Fill cupcake molds 2/3rds full and level the surfaces if needed. Fill any empty cupcake molds halfway with water.

Bake for about 18 minutes, checking regularly for doneness. The top of cupcakes should crack a bit and the top should feel springy to the touch. You want to cook them until a toothpick inserted in center comes out just a little liquidy and crumby (if the batter is very thick on the toothpick and the entire cupcake pulls up as you remove it, it still needs additional cooking). Do not over-bake. Let cool on a wire rack.

For filling:
I used Bonne Maman Cerise Griottes jam. You can use any cherry jam, jelly or even pie filling that you like. Once cupcakes have completely cooled, carefully cut a cone shape out of the top and set to the side. Fill each cupcake with 1-2 tablespoons cherry filling and replace tops.

For whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract

Place cream in a large bowl, whip until cream is slightly thickened. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until cream forms soft peaks. Don't whip beyond the soft-peak stage, because the cream will get stiff and curdle.

Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days in an airtight container. Top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry just before serving.

** UPDATE ** See all the mouth-watering, creative entries the chefs came up with at this 4th and sadly, final installment of Eat to the Beat on elly says opa!

Note: CHERRY PIE LYRICS are the property of the respective authors, artists and labels and Little Miss Cupcake in no way takes copyright, or claims the lyrics belong to her.


  1. Great entry! The cupcakes looks so great, and who doesn't love big-hair bands? :) Thanks for participating!

  2. Yummy! I think this is an awesome idea for a competition. And your entry rocks!

  3. Ha ha! :) Thanks for commenting on my "rockin'" entry!

  4. Like usually I was admiring cupcakes on your blog...

    Thank you for visiting my site.
    Answering your question about marzipan flowers:
    That is true, they dry out quite quickly but they are still good to use. I made too many flowers and forgot about them… I found them almost half a year later and they were still good, completely dry but good… Just like dry cake decorations you can buy in the shop.

  5. Hello...

    What a fun idea! I have four cans of cherry pie filling from the States that I must use... Maybe I'll make some of those... Where do you find marshino (sp) cherries in France? Have a good week....

  6. Thanks, Coffee & Vanilla! Haven't gotten round to marzipan yet as I have been experimenting with MMF. And those guys stick around quite a while too if kept in a well-sealed box. I love that you just found some old ones! :)

    Leesa - well, you have no excuse then not to make these! The cherries I bought are not quite maraschino like we get at home but close. They are made by Vahiné and are called Bigarreaux confits de Provence. They were in the baking section of my monoprix where thet have all the extracts, marzipan, nuts, dried fruits, etc.

  7. OH MY GOODNESS.. this had me laughing out LOUD!!! As soon as I read your title that song just POPPED right up... I saw sooooooooooooo many big hair bands back in the day!!! Poison being my favorite.. but I hope I've never made food with that "name" in mind!! LOL LOL..

    Now I cook to a lot of music..I'll admit.. I'm a Christian now and LOVE contemp artists.. ( there are GREAT ones out there... ) and now where I work.. I listen to the oldies but goodies from my youth and I'm always saying "Hey.. I saw them in concert.... " or "I remember that song now"....
    One group I NEVER did see.. Def Leppard.. "Pour some sugar on me!!!".. LOVE THEM!!
    Ok.. anyway... GREAT post.. GREAT cupcake!! mmmm

  8. Found you over at Elly Says Opa. I just had to check these out because we both used the same song. How crazy is that?!?
    These look fabulous!! I love the combination of cherries and chocolate, so these are going into my file. :)

  9. Hey I too tried baking cup cakes and fairy cakes just after my exams got over. I go weak in the
    knees with a mention of muffins and cakes.