It’s been a long, long time since I last made cupcakes, but I’ve had them on the brain lately and it seemed like the perfect time to make some. They had to be chocolate, of course, but the choice of what to pair them with was quite difficult with all the beautiful fruit around this summer. I thought about cherries, raspberries, and even figs, but some beautiful blackberries caught my eye at the market and instantly knew what I wanted to do.
I should preface this by saying that this is the second week in a row that I’ve made this same Devil’s Food Cake. And the search for the best chocolate cake might now be over because David Lebovitz has the answer! I trust this man implicitly on all matters of chocolate and ice cream.
I stuck pretty closely to the recipe, but instead of using coffee as in the original, I used black tea, which gave it a beautiful subtle flavour. I love that such a simple recipe can produce such a delicious cake that would be the most amazing base for any number of icing flavours.
I tossed up using a blackberry ganache, but I wanted to see that great purple colour so I chose to make a buttercream instead. It was only when I was editing the photos that I realised how similar these cupcakes look to Steph’s raspberry cupcakes! Told you we were soulmates 😉
Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes 14-15 cupcakes
• 9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 ½ cups plain flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon bicarb soda
• 112g butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ cups caster sugar
• 2 eggs, at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup strong black tea
• ½ cup milk
• 2 large egg whites
• ½ cup caster sugar
• 125g butter, at room temperature, cut into 2cm cubes
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ¾ cup blackberries, fresh (or frozen and thawed)
• Extra blackberries, to decorate
Line cupcake tray with cupcake papers and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, bicarb soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Using an electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated and then mix in the vanilla extract.
Mix together the tea and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the tea and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients. Spoon into cupcake cases, filling about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in tin about 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack and cool completely before icing.
To make the blackberry buttercream, puree the blackberries and strain to remove the seeds and set aside. Whisk together egg white and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Clip a candy thermometer to side of bowl. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until mixture reaches 160°F and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture on high speed until cooled and thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 cube at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. If mixture is runny at this point, refrigerate for 10 minutes and then continue beating until it starts to hold its shape (this can take a while). Beat in blackberry puree and vanilla. Place in a piping bag and ice cupcakes. Top with a fresh blackberry and serve. If you have any icing leftover, you can store it in an airtight container for a few days.