The Hummingbird Trail: Mini black forest cakes and a peanut buttery twist

I received the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book for my birthday from some incredibly thoughtful friends, and it wasn't until I started flipping through the gorgeous, glossy pages of the book that I realised that I'd never actually owned a cookbook until now. In honour of this little "first" of mine, I've decided to start the Hummingbird Trail - to capture those moments inspired by the book.

You know how you find a recipe you like, that works every single time, and you know that you're comfortable enough to use it as a starting point for more interesting things. The recipes in the book are very much like that - great base recipes that leave you free to experiment with.

I did just that, with the recipe for chocolate cupcakes - turning them into mini black forest cakes and using them as a vessel for those delicious peanut butter chips.

Mini Black Forest Cakes

Ingredients for the cherry filling:
1 can black cherries, pitted 
Lemon juice 

Combine cherries and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a saucepan and heat gently.
Stir constantly under low heat until mixture starts to thicken. Add syrup and lemon juice to taste.
Add cornstarch (dissolved in cold water first), bit by bit, until desired consistency is achieved

Assembly of the mini cakes involves a simple process of slicing each cupcake into half and sandwiching a generous dose of cherry filling between the two halves. Sweet, tart, chocolatey and incredibly simple.

Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cupcakes

I've always had a bit of a problem with sinking chips so this time, instead of mixing them into the batter, I sprinkled them on top of the batter once they had been spooned into the cases - not pressing down on them and hoping that the batter would be dense enough to hold them up. The trick worked - the chips didn't end up at the bottom of the cupcake (or worse yet, at the bottom of the cupcake AND stuck to the case). Also, I think they make for some interesting aesthetics.

Happy experimenting! 

Previous stop on the Hummingbird Trail: Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes