Valentine’s Day is just a few days away so I have been trying to come up with a sweet treat to make for me and my Valentine. There are still several cupcakes left in my freezer from last week’s Battle of the Box Mixes so I decided to put them to use.
My husband loves chocolate cake. I’m not real crazy about it, and unfortunately for me, all the cupcakes are made with it. I wanted to use them but still make something we would both like. Then it hit me! My favorite things to eat on Valentine’s Day are chocolate-covered strawberries. I could make my own version of a chocolate-covered strawberry cupcake by giving the cupcakes a strawberry filling and then topping them with a rich chocolate icing.
Below is my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake creation as well as my recipes for Fresh Strawberry Filling and Chocolate Fudge Butter Icing. You can use your favorite recipe or mix for the chocolate cake part. I hope you and your Valentine love them!
Step 1: Fresh Strawberry Filling
After baking your chocolate cupcakes you need to make the Fresh Strawberry Filling. This is a simple recipe that only has three ingredients.
2 ½ cups of chopped strawberries, ½ cup of sugar and 2 ½ Tablespoons of cornstarch
Place all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir constantly while crushing berries slightly with the back of a spoon.
Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will be a slightly chunky.
Doesn’t that look good?
Pour mixture into a bowl and let cool completely.
Step 2: Chocolate Fudge Butter Icing
While your filling is cooling you can make your icing. This icing is amazing. It has a super rich chocolate fudge flavor. It is a bit soft so I wouldn’t use it for piping work on a cake but it makes a great filling or a wonderful icing to top your cupcake.
You will need ½ cup of butter, ¼ cup of shortening, ⅓ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, 2 Tablespoons of half & half, 1 cup of hot fudge topping (do not heat the topping) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Step 3: White Chocolate Initials
To personalize your cupcake you want to put the initials of you and your Valentine on top. You can freehand this or, if you are like me and have terrible handwriting, you can print out the letters from your computer and use them as a pattern. Tape a piece of wax paper to the back of a cookie sheet and then slide your pattern under the wax paper.
Melt some chocolate in a disposable decorating bag or in a sandwich bag. Make sure your chocolate is finely chopped or comes in the form of disks, such as candy melts, so that it melts easily. Place it in your microwave at 50% power and check it about every 20 seconds or less as it gets warmer. With each check, squeeze the chocolate around with your fingers to mix it. You want it to flow smoothly. Be careful not to overheat it. When chocolate gets too hot it becomes hard again and eventually burns.
Once it is melted, cut the tip off of your decorating bag (or the corner of your sandwich bag) with scissors. Cut only as much off as will make your opening the size you want for piping your letters. Slowly pipe the chocolate, over your pattern, on the wax paper.
I am left handed so I tend to do things a little backwards from the right-handers of the world. That is why I am starting with the right side of my letters to keep my hand from dragging in the wet chocolate.
I suggest you make several extra letters because sometimes they break, and some just turn out better than others.
Once you have them all piped, place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to harden. Then remove and slowly slide a spatula or thin knife underneath them to remove from the wax paper.
Step 4: Strawberry Heart Cutouts
The fun of a filled cupcake is the surprise filling in the center, but I like to give a little hint to what that surprise is going to be. On these cupcakes I used some leftover strawberries to cut out little hearts to place on the top. I simply sliced off a piece from the side of the strawberry and then used a small cutter to cut out a heart shape.
You’ll want to wait until it gets close to serving time to place these on the cupcakes, otherwise the sugar in the icing will draw out the natural juice in the strawberry and it will start to leak if they sit over a few hours.
Step 5: Fill the Cupcakes
Don’t even attempt this step until everything is completely cooled or your will end up with a big mess. The secret weapon for getting a perfectly filled cupcake is using an apple corer. Use the corer to pull out the center of the cupcake. Just be sure not to push it down all the way to the bottom because you don’t want filling coming out the bottom. Once you remove the center push out the cake core and save for later.
Place your filling in a disposable decorating bag or a sandwich bag and cut the tip so that it is big enough to allow the filling to flow out but small enough to fit easily inside the cupcake center. Place the tip at the bottom of the center hole and slowly lift as you squeeze the filling into the cupcake. Stop just a little below the top of the cupcake.
Now, take your cake core and remove the bottom of it so that just a small amount of the top remains. Replace this on top of your filling.
You now have a cupcake that is ready to be decorated.
Step 6: Ice the Cupcake
Use the Chocolate Fudge Butter Icing to ice the cupcake in whatever style you like.
For this cupcake a used an icing bag fitted with a large round tip (Wilton 2A) and, starting at the far edge, swirled it around the top of the cupcake in to the center until it was fully covered. I then added another layer on top of the first to give it some height.
Step 7: Decorate
Once it is iced you can have fun decorating. I first sprinkled some sanding sugar around the edges, then placed my letters and centered them with a strawberry heart. I, of course, had to make one for each of us. One says “Kevin loves Michelle” and the other “Michelle loves Kevin.”
Finally, you can dress them up even more by placing them in a decorative wrapper. These I made on my Cricut machine using the Cupcake Wrappers cartridge but there are lots of different premade wrappers available as well.
The great thing about this cupcake is that is tastes just as amazing as it looks, even for non-chocolate cake lovers like me. Take a peek at the yummy strawberry surprise inside.
Here is the Video of the Process:
I hope you enjoy and I especially hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the one you love.
Until next time, God Bless and Sweet Dreams.