I can’t believe that I can even sit here and write about chocolate today. I’m coming off of a lovely weekend at The American Club in Kohler, WI. I had the opportunity to attend their annual In Celebration of Chocolate event and it certainly was a celebration! But more on that later…

Today I’m bringing you a tasty treat to celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday! As I mentioned last week, I much prefer a low key Valentine’s Day at home with homemade savory dishes and sweet treats. Once again I teamed up with Driscoll’s to create a twist on the classic chocolate covered strawberry, of which I’m pretty much obsessed with.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

As much as I prefer a box chocolate cake mix I tried my hand at a homemade cake mix and I’m quite pleased with the results. Perhaps it’s the touch of espresso that finished off the batter, but at any rate they turned out pretty amazing.

I recommend using Driscoll’s strawberries for this recipe, both in the buttercream and to garnish, for maximum sweetness and flavor. Use a high quality chocolate to create the ganache frosting. And of course, make enough to share because these are sure to please!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
 
Author:
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk
  • ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1 inch pieces or 1 cup Semi- Sweet Chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • For the Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • ½ cup fresh Driscoll’s strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed and chopped
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 fresh Driscoll’s strawberries

Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350°
  2. Sift flour together with cocoa, baking soda and salt. I always sift my cocoa powder. I admit to being lazy when it comes to sifting flour and sometimes powdered sugar, but never cocoa powder, especially in frostings.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar and white sugar until well combined.
  4. Whisk in milk, coffee and melted butter.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients.
  6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full, (about ¼ C of batter per cupcake). The recipe said to divide the batter evenly. I actually measured it out ¼ C for each cupcake and the recipe made 13 cupcakes. It did not specify how full to fill them. If you only fill them ⅔ full you will probably end up with 15 cupcakes.
  7. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. You can use a toothpick to test for doneness. If you insert a tooth pick and it comes out clean, your cupcakes are finished. Let cool for at least 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting.
  8. For the Frosting:
  9. Place chocolate a heatproof bowl, place over a pot of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth.
  10. Heat heavy cream on the stove until hot but not boiling. Add the heavy cream to the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool until warm. Whisk in butter until smooth. Let sit for at least 1 hour until spreadable
  11. For the Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  12. Puree strawberries using a food processor.
  13. Temper egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of water on medium heat. You need just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Heat the mixture to 140°F. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid cooking the egg whites.
  14. Using a wire whisk on your stand mixer, beat on medium-high for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites form soft peaks
  15. Reduce mixer speed to low and add butter 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring each addition is well mixed.
  16. After all the butter has been added, change to paddle attachment and continue beating on medium to allow all the air bubbles to escape. In about 3-5 minutes until the frosting is smooth.
  17. Add pureed strawberries and mix until combined, careful not to over mix.
  18. Serve the same day or you can refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, you will need to bring it to room temperature (about 4 hours) and remix using the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes.
  19. Assemble the cupcakes by spreading a thin layer of the chocolate ganache frosting on top of each cupcake. Pipe a good amount of the buttercream onto the top of each cupcake and garnish with a small fresh strawberry.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

 This is a sponsored post from Driscoll’s berries. All opinions expressed are my own.