What's the cutest dessert you could make this year? A CUP-PAKEN - that's what! You may be asking yourself what on earth is a CUP-PAKEN? It is simply a mini version of a PIECAKEN, which is sometimes also called a 'pake' - so a CUP-PAKEN is a mini pie inside of a cupcake.
So here is a recipe that will impress all of your friends and family. And stay tuned for more CUP-PAKEN recipes posted to this site in the future.
Recipe: Cherry Pie Inside of a Chocolate Cupcake
Topped with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Before You Start:
Make your ganache (see recipe below) one day in advance of making your cupcakes. Otherwise you might need a chocolate buttercream recipe or will have to wait a day to ice the cupcakes, but since cupcakes are only fresh for 2 days or so, it is best to make your ganache in advance.
You will need the following tools for this recipe: a regular 12-section cupcake pan for your cupcakes, and a mini 12-cup cupcake pan (or just use 12 sections of a 24-section mini cupcake pan) for your mini pies.
Mini Cherry Pies (Makes 12):
50 frozen or fresh (pitted) cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp. corn starch
2 tsp cold water
Mini Cherry Pie Instructions:
Cut 12 round pieces of pie crust using a small bowl or round 1 cup measuring cup. Cut another 12 smaller round pieces for your top crust (using a 1/4 or 1/3 cup round measuring cup - or any round glass about 2-inches wide). Set aside the smaller pieces.
Grease and then sprinkle flour in each section of a mini cupcake pan. Also grease the top of the pan, since each mini-pie crust may hang over a bit.
Press the larger circles of pie crust into each mini cupcake container.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. They do not need to turn brown, they just need to be cooked a little bit just to firm the crusts.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cherries, sugar, cinnamon and the cornstarch-water mixture.
With a small spoon, scoop 3 or 4 cherries from the mixture into each mini pie shell. Place your small rounds of pie crust on top of each cherry pie. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of the crust.
You can seal the top and bottom crusts together by brushing on an egg wash (1 egg yolk whisked with 2 tbsps. water, milk or cream) and brush the egg wash over the top of the crust also to crisp and brown the pies. Although this is not necessary if you are putting the pies into the cupcakes.
Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 F (until they are sizzling and browning slightly on top).
Once cooked, place on a cooling rack and let cool for 1/2 hour and then pop out each mini pie onto the cooling rack.
While your mini pies are cooling, make your cupcake batter:
1 cup of unbleached flour
1/3 cup of sifted cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of sour cream
Cupcake Batter Instructions:
Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are dispersed.
Add the canola oil and mix again until the mixture is dampened.
Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is mixed and lump free.
Stir or briefly beat in the sour cream until combined.
Line your cupcake pan with 12 cupcake papers.
Assemble the CUP-PAKENs:
Place your batter in a pastry bag and cut a small hole in the end (or place it in a large freezer zipper bag and cut a small hole in one corner).
Place a small amount of batter into the bottom of each cupcake paper, just to cover the bottom with a layer of about 1/4" to 1/2" thick.
Pick up your mini pies and press each one into the cupcake batter.
Pour a little more cupcake batter onto the top of each mini pie and fill in around the edges, and then smooth out the top (see the photo on the right for a visual guide).
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over-bake.
Let cool completely on a cooling rack. This will take longer than regular cupcakes take to cool, since there is a small pie inside. Ice these once they are cooled and consume within 2 days or freeze in an airtight container until ready to eat.
Dark Chocolate Ganache Recipe:
1 cup of whipping cream
8 ounces of semi-sweet dark chocolate (chocolate with anywhere between 50% and 65% cocoa solids will do), chopped into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.
Place your chocolate in a stainless steel or glass bowl.
Place your whipping cream in a small saucepan on the stovetop.
Bring the cream to a near-boil (not boiling) on medium-high heat.
Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Cover with an airtight lid or seal with plastic wrap and let rest on the counter overnight or for 8 hours.
Place in a piping bag to decorate your cupcakes. If it is too stiff, you can massage the bag with your hands until the ganache is soft enough to use. Alternately, you can whip this ganache with a hand mixer or stand mixer until fluff