It just doesn’t feel like summer until True Blood comes on. It is, and always has been, my guiltiest guilty pleasure. After watching the Season 6 premiere last Sunday night I found myself wondering if I could mix food guilt with TV guilt. The answer was yes– guess what I’m eating this Sunday at 9?
Yield: Makes one dozen cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color or as much liquid food coloring as it takes (it could take half a bottle though)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
Approx. 2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
For the topping
1 cup fresh berries of your choice (I did a mix of raspberries and blackberries to get a more realistic look, but any berries will be wonderful)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of corn starch
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tin with paper liners. Measure out and whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl until uniform in color
- Whisk together sugar, oil, and egg until well combined then mix in vanilla and food coloring until uniform in color
- Add dry mixture in 2-3 batches to the wet mixture, alternating with buttermilk, and whisk well after each addition.
- Stir together the baking soda and vinegar (yes it will foam, no it will not second-grade-paper-mache-volcano explode) and add the mixture to the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a large bowl with a rubber spatula, gradually soften the cream cheese. Add the butter and beat until smooth, add the lemon zest and vanilla and stir until evenly distributed.
- Sift in confectioners sugar, beat until completely smooth.
For the topping:
- Put the berries in a pan with sugar and lemon juice, cook over medium heat and break down some berries with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Make a slurry with corn starch and water, make sure it’s completely smooth, and add to the berries.
- Cook until the mixture bubbles, then pour into a container and let cool completely.
- Using an offset spatula, frost your cupcake making a slight well in the top.
- Spoon on berry sauce and enjoy!