Saturday, 21 July 2012

Brandied Cherry and Nut Chocolate Cupcake

As a child, happiness was biting into a bar of Cadbury's.   Peeling back the purple wrapper and foil to sink your teeth into the luscious dreamy chocolate squares.  Mmm....My favourite Cadbury chocolate is the Fruit and Nut - the one with the raisins and almonds, and remains that until today.  I still buy huge slabs from London holidays to give away (after keeping some for my personal stash, but of course).  There's something about biting into the contrasting flavours and textures of the milky chocolate, plump juicy raisins and crunchy almonds that goes so well together.

The Cadbury bar of childhood is the inspiration for July's SABH challenge "Nuts about Sweets" hosted by Nic of Dining with a Stud.  Chocolate, cherries and almonds.  All in a cupcake.  Does re-hydrating dried cherries in brandy qualify them as brandied cherries?  I'm going to say yes to that :)  Use plenty of brandy, get them really boozy.  Add chopped almonds and some good quality cocoa and we're all set for this month's challenge. 

I used a simple chocolate cupcake recipe for this, and I deliberately didn't make it too fudgy so that it wouldn't overpower the flavour of the almonds, cherries and brandy. 

Brandied Cherry and Nut Chocolate Cupcake
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dried cherries - soaked overnight in brandy and/or water
1/2 cup almonds - chopped into halves

  1. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tray.
  2. Preheat oven to 190C (375F).
  3. Reserve the soaking liquid from the cherries and top up to 1 cup with hot water.
  4. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot water, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  5. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition.
  8. Stir in the cocoa mixture, then fold in the sifted flour.
  9. Lastly stir in the dried cherries and the almonds.
  10. Spoon into the muffin trays and bake for 16 - 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
  12. Serve with a light dusting of icing sugar or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side.


  1. So gorgeous :) I recently got in to cherries. They were on my never to eat list prior to that. I'll hav to giv this a god. Thanks for joining the hop!

    1. Hi Nic, thanks for hosting. I happen to love cherries, and would buy them by the kgs when they were in season in Australia.

  2. They are just gorgeous, love the styling too. I tend to take macro photos of food as I'm so bad at styling! That way I don't even have to worry about what plate I've put the food on :) Great idea to soak dried cherries in brandy!

    1. Hi Erica, thanks for dropping by. I'm not very into styling... No talent, I'm afraid :p So everything is kept simple. The cherries was partially inspired by fruit cake and improvised because I didn't have enough raisins to start out with. Haha.


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