You’ll love these cupcakes, not easy but oh so tasty and well worth the effort. The flavors are complex with apricots, orange, chocolate ganache, and toasted walnuts. Doesn’t get much better than this, well only if Brad Pitt was serving them. The recipe also translates well into a cake. I had a customer in the Mill Valley store who had lived in Georgia and her mom made these cakes for her growing up. She keep telling me about the recipe so I told her to bring it in and we would make them into cupcakes.
1 cup dried apricots, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup dried apricots for garnish
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Zest of 1 orange
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped coarsely
- Soak apricots in sherry for several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter and the sugars together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the orange zest.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the apricots with the sherry, walnuts and chocolate chips.
- For a cake pour the batter into 3 greased and floured 9″ round cake pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Invert on wire racks and cool. Spread the Chocolate Ganache between the layers while the cake is still warm. use the Cream Cheese Frosting to frost the sides and top of the cake after it has cooled completely. Press the walnuts onto the lower half on side of cake.
- For cupcakes line cupcake pans with paper liners. Fill cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcake pans until just warm. Remove cupcakes and cut a hole in the center with an apple coring knife. Remove cake and pour in Chocolate Ganache while still warm. When the cupcakes have completely cooled frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting and roll in chopped walnuts. As a garnish I like to take a dried piece of apricot and dip it in the Chocolate Ganache and but on top. Makes about 36 cupcakes.
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
- Melt the chocolate chips slowly.
- Pour the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, pour the whipping cream slowly into the chocolate. Continue to mix until smooth.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar sifted
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
2 tablespoons orange zest
Using a mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and orange liqueur. Beat until smooth and add the zest.
I like to reserve a few apricots and dip them in melted chocolate for garnish.
When the cupcakes have cooled core out a small piece in the center to be filled.