Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Trouble and Cherry Love

Choc rum cherry cupcakes
I'm a Google-holic. Despite having some really nice cookbooks, I still trawl the Internet and use obscure recipes from totally unknown sources. Some of these have turned out fine, but I got a few duds recently. Like my attempt at chocolate rum & cherry cupcakes. These came out moist and soft out of the oven but became mysteriously dry when cool.

But you learn from errors. I found a valuable tip from Rose Levy Beranbaum's blog - When you use hot water to dissolve the cocoa powder, then let it sit to cool, some of the water evaporates. You can lose as much as two ounces! Wow, who'd have thought!

A reader helped solve this mystery which has bugged Rose for 18 years! She couldn't figure out why others could not get the same results from her recipe. She wraps all items not going to be used immediately, especially chocolate and water.

Dissolving cocoa powder in hot water was the first step in the recipe I followed - and of course it sat there for quite some time while I prepared the rest of the batter. And the recipe had only half the liquid called for in my cookbooks.

Ah. Baking - too many moving parts! I'm going to stick to my cookbooks for the rest of my learning curve.

Yummiest maraschino cherries!
However, the one saving grace was S&W's maraschino cherries. These are beautifully sweet with very little of the horrid medicinal cough syrup taste that you get with some versions. I can't tell you how much I used to detest maraschino cherries before this. These were awesome and have made me a convert. I wish I put a whole lot more of these cherries on the cupcakes. Now I can't wait to buy a new bottle! (This one was kindly given by S&W along with a host of other goodies).

Choc rum cherry cupcakes
Oh I also tested my new toy external flash unit on these cupcakes. First time taking indoor shots without having to worry about lighting! No need to bring items close to window for sunlight! Oh my, this almost feels like cheating! How I ever survived without a flash unit, I can't imagine. But I'm still learning how to use it (it's got a lot of complicated features), so bear with me.


  1. thanks for sharing the cupcakes with us, camemberu! moist and packed with chocolaty taste. ;)

  2. Haha, actually I'm sorry you guys had to eat them. I didn't try any while you all were eating, only after I got home...oh dear, they were so dry! Paiseh!!!! lol

  3. I love it when u feature recipes now and then. I'm thinking of getting a bottle of maraschino cherries too to try after seeing your cupcakes.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for the tip on maraschino cherries. I dislike the artificial taste that has become associated with it. Can you let us know where we can go to get this? Thanks.

  5. Really? S&W cherries are that good? I must try then :) I hate maraschino cherries with gusto. So, I must see if these change my mind ;)

  6. they look pretty damn fine to me;)

    oh yar, i forgot, pls kindly update our link to


  7. these muffins are so pretty, i bet they taste just as good!
    u know what, i'm a flash user, i couldn't have survived home cooking pictures without it, due lack of windows in the house I guess..
    whatever it is, I think using flash is not as bad as most pro 'natural light' photographers made to be's quite a tool ...

  8. Hi all, sorry for late reply! I'm still waiting for S&W to revert on where we can get the cherries - this is the only item not in the product availability factsheet. Most of their stuff is in Cold Storage, Giant and NTUC Fairprice. The maraschino cherries are in some specialty outlets - I'll update when I get the info.

    Cumi & Ciki: updated!

    Adeline: I have to agree. Food photography is so much about lighting, and if we can't have natural light, bounced flash is not too bad!

  9. Thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe. Every New Year , I try something new in my kitchen. I wanted to try something new for this time too to treat my family and friends with. This will be a real treat!

  10. it looks really lovely, can you provide a recipe for it?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© CAMEMBERU | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig