The only complaint, was the tedious part of straining the raspberry puree over my small fine-mesh sieve in order to remove the raspberry seeds. It must have taken me almost an hour just to get the 1/2 cup the recipe required. Well, I am glad that the end result justified the effort involved. And a simple chocolate swirl on top of the cupcakes dressed them up, making them ready, even for an elegant affair.
Raspberry-Laced Chocolate Cupcakes with Marbled Glaze
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry puree (from frozen unsweetened raspberries or from 3/4 pint fresh raspberries)
3 tbsp brandy or rum
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softenend
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
(makes about 1 cup)
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
1 tbsp corn syrup
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Line the muffin tin with fluted paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, then sift onto a sheet of wax paper. Set aside.
Combine the raspberry puree, brandy and vanilla in a small bowl, set aside.
In a medium to large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for a few seconds, until creamy. Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Break the eggs into a cup or small bowl and whisk to combine the whites and yolks. Take a full 2.5 to 3 minutes to dribble the eggs gradually into the butter mixture, beating constantly.
Stop the mixer and add one third of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed only until no flour is visible. Srop the mixture and add half of the raspberry mixture. Beat only until absorbed. Repeat with half of the remaining flour, all of the remaining raspberry mixture, and finally the remaining flour. Scrape the bowl as necessary and beat on low speed only enough to incorporate the ingredients after each addition.
Scrape the batter into the paper liners, and bake for 20 minutes. When the cupcakes are completely cool, make Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze.
Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a small heat proof bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently and gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove the glaze from the water and set aside to finish melting, stirring once or twice until the glaze is perfectly smooth. Or melt in a microwave on Medium (50%) power for 2 minutes. Stir gently until completely smooth; do not whisk or beat. Let the glaze cool, without stirring, until nearly set and the consistency of easily spreadable frosting.
Melt one ounce each of milk chocolate and white chocolate into individual bowls.Dip one cupcake top (or bottom) into the glaze. Turn the cupcake glaze side up/ Dip the tip of your finger or rubber spatula into the melted chocolates and drizzle a little of each on the glaze. Swirl a skewer or toothpick through the wet glaze to marble the chocolates. Let the glaze set at room temperature.