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CHERRY CUPCAKES

Sour Kirsch-soaked cherries give these cupcakes a fruit flavour that is fresh yet rich at the same time. The soaked cherries can be bought in tins or jars from large supermarkets.

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas mark 5, and fill a muffin tin with muffin cases.
  2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, caster sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together on a low speed until the ingredients are well incorporated and resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Place the eggs and milk in a jug and mix well together by hand, then add three-quarters of this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix in, still on a low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk mixture and beat again on a medium speed until the batter is smooth, then stir in the chopped cherries by hand, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  4. Divide the batter between the muffin cases, so that they are two-thirds full. Any remaining batter can be used to fill up to four more paper cases in an additional tin. Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 18–20 minutes or until the sponges bounce back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool slightly, then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely before you add the frosting.
  5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk the icing sugar with the butter on a low speed until sandy in consistency, then slowly pour in the milk. Once all the milk has been added, increase the speed to high and whisk the frosting until light and fluffy.

Conclusion

Stir in the chopped cherries by hand, then divide the frosting between the cooled cupcakes, smoothing over the surface of each cake with a palette knife and adding a decorative swirl, if you like. Finish by decorating with whole Kirsch-soaked cherries. Add them at the last minute to avoid the colour bleeding into the frosting.

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