Around these parts, we are very fond of the Godiva Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bars. They were the inspiration for these Easter cupcakes. I used an adjusted recipe for Lemon Cake from the Barefoot Contessa as the basis for this recipe.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup of finely crush freeze dried raspberries*
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*I use the Simply Fruit brand. It can be found at health food stores. I have also made cupcakes using Simply Strawberries. I place the berries in a ziplock plastic bag and crush them to a powder.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, the key to great cakes is beating the butter and sugar until the mixture’s until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed add the eggs, (break the eggs into a dish before adding to the batter to avoid a bad egg or shells in the batter) 1 at a time. Sift together the flour, to make sure there are no lumps, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Separately, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.
Line baking tins with paper liners and evenly divide the batter. I made 28 cupcakes from this recipe.
For the ganache:
Melt 8oz bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler (Boil water and place a heat proof bowl above it). Stir in heavy cream (about ½ cup) until the mixture is shiny and the chocolate is fully melted.
I served them with a fresh raspberry on top as shown in my new super cool banner designed by J. Although it is decadent to the point of obscenity, I ate mine with a dollop of whipped cream. It cuts the bitterness of the chocolate, and I highly recommend it.