Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Coke Cupcakes (#DessertChallenge)

Who out there grew up with Cherry Coke? I remember impatiently waiting for lunchtime at Summer camp to open up my carefully packed meal, complete with a rockstar-lookalike can of that deliciously sweet soda.

These days, you can't buy Cherry Coke in Canada for some odd reason, and the restaurants with "soda jerk" style drink service have all either closed or sold out to the realm of pre-bottled offerings. In that respect, my all time favourite version of flavoured cola is completely extinct, leaving me no hope of finding it one day in a little specialty shop. I've tried to make my own flavoured cola before, but it's never the same.

Of course, one of my other favourite pairings for cherries is dark chocolate. The bitter, slightly earthy notes of cocoa work so beautifully with the bright, sweet-tart fruit, and really - is there anything sexier (and still G-rated)? Bearing all this in mind, it was only natural that I was drawn to this month's Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge - Coca Cola and Cherry. I couldn't not add chocolate to the mix, what with the abundance of chocolate coke cake recipes out there, in the end creating a moist, chocolatey cake laced with a reduced cola syrup that was packed with bright flecks of candied cherries. For a nice "surprise" on the top, I stuck a whole candied cherry into the top of each cupcake before baking and glazed the whole works with a fudgy poured frosting that I had originally designed for brownies (stay tuned for that recipe soon!).

If you like cherries, Coke and / or the combination of the two, please check out all the goodies below and share the love!

Chocolate Cherry Coke Muffins

Chocolate Cherry Coke Cupcakes
Makes 12 
2 (12-oz) cans cola (any brand)
⅓ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp cocoa powder
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup chopped candied cherries, plus 12 whole candied cherries for topping
  1. Place the cola in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half ( 1 1/3 cups) and let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the cola syrup, oil, vanilla, egg, cocoa and brown sugar.
  4. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing until just combined.
  5. Fold in chopped candied cherries.
  6. Scoop into muffin tins and lightly press a whole candied cherry onto the top of each one.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until tests done. Turn out immediately onto a wire rack and cool completely before glazing (if desired)

Chocolate Cherry Coke Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 233.3
Total Fat: 6.5 g
Cholesterol: 15.5 mg
Sodium: 16.5 mg
Total Carbs: 38.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 4.2 g

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