Organic Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes

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I was in a baking mood this week, and I came across this fantastic recipe for raspberry truffle cupcakes from Annie’s Eats.

With a few tweaks, I made this recipe organic and simpler. These cupcakes are far from health food, but they are made with natural ingredients and the baking method is mindful of waste.

These cupcakes take the richness of the dark chocolate and pair it with the fresh, tart flavor of raspberries. Photo By Samantha Schwartz.

These cupcakes have four basic parts: the cupcake, the filling, the frosting and the truffles. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own organic, bakery-quality cupcakes.

The cupcake

I used an organic chocolate cupcake mix for the base of these cupcakes. Because the frosting, filling and truffles are intricate and flavorful, a basic chocolate cupcake is the perfect complement.

I chose Pamela’s Wheat and Gluten-Free All Natural Chocolate Cupcake Mix. I found it in the natural section of my local grocery store. The mix calls for 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of water. It ends up making 15 cupcakes if each cup is 3/4 full.

Mixes are great because you don’t have to purchase organic ingredients in bulk. Organic ingredients are pricey, and the mix allows me to buy just the amount I need. Also, finding and measuring out these ingredients takes time; I like to spend my time on what gives these cupcakes their gourmet feel: the frosting, filling and truffles.

I swirled in 1/3 cup of sugar to the mix because the dark chocolate flavor was too bitter for me. Photo By Samantha Schwartz

If you dislike mixes, you can use this recipe for the cupcake base.

The filling

Make sure your cupcakes are mostly cool when you start the filling. All you need for the filling is a jar of seedless, organic raspberry jam. You’ll need to save 1/2 cup for the frosting and 1/4 cup for the truffles, but you can use the rest for the filling. (You should have about 1/2 cup left.)

Heat up the filling in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It should be easy to stir and have a thick liquid texture. Prepare a pastry bag with a large, round decorating tip. Holding the pastry bag at a 45 degree angle over the sink, pour the filling into the pastry bag. You may have to put your thumb over the tip to avoid seepage. Have the cupcakes nearby. Quickly insert the entire tip into each, going halfway into the cupcake.

Wait a couple seconds for the jam to overflow just slightly, and then move on to the next cupcake. Photo By Samantha Schwartz

Do not throw away the pastry bag or clean the tips. You will use them again for the truffles.

The frosting

For the frosting you will need: 

16 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, at room temperature
5 cups organic powdered sugar
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Use a hand-held electric mixer on medium-high to cream the ingredients together for 2 minutes. (Hand-mixing does not work. I tried.) The raspberry buttercream frosting should be smooth and creamy with a slight cheesecake flavor. The raspberry jam produces a beautiful rosy pink hue.

The truffles

For the raspberry ganache truffles you will need:

1 package fresh organic raspberries
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam 
1/3 cup organic heavy cream 

1. Wash and dry the berries and place them on a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet.  

2. Place the chocolate and jam in a small heat-proof bowl and heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Stir with a spoon. If there are still lumps, heat for another 30 seconds.

3. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the hot cream the chocolate and jam. Stir and then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. Transfer the mixture to the pastry bag used for the filling. Pipe the filling into the raspberries, being careful not to overfill them.

5. Refrigerate the raspberry truffles for 30 minutes to set.

The raspberry truffles make for sweet surprise atop your cupcake. Photo By Samantha Schwartz

Use the empty jam jar to store the extra ganache filling. Spread the ganache on toast for a tasty morning treat, use it as a fruit dip or heat it up to make chocolate covered strawberries.

Finishing touches

These beautiful cupcakes are rich and filling. Photo By Samantha Schwartz

Spread the raspberry buttercream frosting generously on each cupcake. Top each with two to three raspberries just before serving.

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