Tag Archives: birthday

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry on Top

Notice I didn’t say with a cherry on top?

Nope not a cherry on top but a delicious Sweet and Tart Cherry Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  On top of a rich Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Then, a Lindt Chocolate Truffle, you guessed it, on top.  Are you still with me?

I gave these cupcakes to my neighbours.  They deserve a cherry on top kind of dessert.  Yesterday was their birthday.  That’s right, their birthday.  Both of them.  And they have been married more than 25 years.  To each other.  And they are just good, kind, fun people.  So they deserve a little somethin’ with a cherry on top!

They were out last night celebrating, so I left them a little treat at their door this morning.

Since cherries are pretty impossible to find, I just made a simple cherry jam out of frozen cherries.  Then I added it to my usual Swiss Meringue loveliness along with some cherry oil for extra flavour.

Just make these rich chocolate cupcakes without the added espresso powder.  Then layer with the Cherry Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe below).

Before I go, I am also sending a virtual cupcake over to Rosie at Sweetapolita for offering an AMAZING Chocolately Giveaway last week ( Holiday Truffles & Bonbons class at the highly respected Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Toronto + 1 kg box of Cacao Barry Origins Dark Chocolate Couverture Mexique 66% + 1 kg box of St. Domingue 70% + a copy of Barry Callebaut’s Simply Chocolate Magazine, featuring recipes from Canada’s top pastry chefs & chocolatiers.)!  I was so tickled to hear that I won!  My daughter said I was jumping and hollering so much she thought I won the lottery.  Well for me, attending a class at the Bonnie Gordon School of Confectionary Arts is just like winning the lottery!  Thanks Rosie!

Cherry Jam

  • 1 cup frozen sweet and tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

1.   Combine ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture is thickened.  Use a fork to mash cherries while stirring.  Allow cherry mixture to cool completely before adding to your icing.

Chocolate

  • 1 1/2 cups of quality Belgian semi sweet chocolate chopped

1.  Melt chocolate over a double boiler.  Mix until smooth and no lumps remain.  Allow to cool before adding to icing.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

* I made one batch for chocolate and one batch for cherry

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate or cherry jam to taste to taste

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and chocolate/cherry jam (include a few drops of cherry oil if you have some) (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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A Retirement Party and Nautical Cupcakes

My dad is officially retiring at the end of the month.  And it’s his birthday on Tuesday too.  We had a surprise gathering and picnic lunch for him today.  All the kids and grandkids arrived at the party wearing matching t-shirts with the name of his boat on them…”Knot Done.”  So named because he is retiring and turning 65 and there are lots of things he still wants to do with his life.  Genius.

You can say a lot of things about my dad but you could never say he wasn’t a hard worker and a dedicated employee.   He is the true definition of giving 200% to a task.  I know he is very well-respected by his colleagues.  He is a problem solver.  He is a leader.  He is a teacher.  His kids think he’s pretty awesome too!

This picture is an oldie.  Taken from an old employer.

My dad does woodworking as a hobby too.  He’s meticulous and accurate and he’s taught me a thing or two about working in the shop!  Even as an adult I get very excited when dad and I are working on a project together.  I cherish those times that he’s teaching me something.

For a good part of my life, dad has had a boat.  He comes from Nova Scotia so being on the water is second nature to him.    I decided to use a nautical theme for his retirement/birthday party cupcakes.

Thank you dad for teaching me the value of hard work and dedication.   You are one of the most influential people in my life.  I hope you enjoyed your party!

These are Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  The fondant is Homemade Marshmallow Fondant that I made here.  I did add some Gum-Tex to the fondant before working with it because I wanted the decorations to dry harder than they normally do.  Fondant is so easy to work with and colour.  You just need the imagination!  Give yourself lots of time however, as I made these a week in advance so they would have lots of time to set up.

Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe to come shortly!!

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