As many of you may already know, or if you're new here, maybe not, I'm a modern orthodox Jew. At least most of the time. Sometimes I lean to the more orthodox side of the spectrum, and sometimes I swing towards the more Conservative side.... so maybe that makes me conserv-o-dox? I don't know. Point is, I like my lox and I like my brisket and I still occasionally pine for a really good sesame bagel.
So..... Valentine's Day is coming up. Jews really don't tend to celebrate the holiday. It might have something to do with the whole "SAINT Valentine's Day" thing that they've got going on, but that's just my theory.
I'm not going to pretend that the reason that I have mixed feelings towards Valentine's Day has anything to do with religion, because it really doesn't. And I'm not going to get up on my soap box and tell you that it's because the day is a "Hallmark Holiday" and that love should be celebrated every day. Because I hate the people that do that. Just shut up and eat your heart-shaped chocolates.
I love the whole idea of celebrating "love" but I hate the way it's done. I don't need a stuffed teddy bear dressed up like a bumble bee holding a heart that says "Bee Mine". It will not sit on my bed. It will, however, sit in the back shelf of my closet until I spring clean two years later and throw it out. Don't spend an exorbitant amount of money on roses that will wilt several days later. Use that money to buy groceries and cook me dinner. Don't buy me a box of chocolates -- I probably can't eat them anyway -- and if you manage to find a box of Paleo chocolates, you're basically my hero and I will love you till the day I die.
What I do like about Valentine's Day is the food, i.e. chocolate cake with chocolate frosting covered in chocolate sauce sprinkled with cocoa nibs. This is the one day out of the year where I can eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, and no one can say one word. Okay, okay, so I probably won't end up doing that, but I have the option if I want to!
And because Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to step into the kitchen and whip up drool-worthy desserts, I did just that. Cherry + chocolate is one of my favorite combinations, and this dessert is the perfect harmony of the two. The light, cherry-sweetened frosting balances out the dark rich chocolate cake, and the cocoa curls that garnish the top add a slight crunch to every bite. Enjoy!
"Death By Chocolate" Black Forest Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 Tablespoons of coconut flour
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life)
For the frosting:
2 cups of coconut cream
1/4 cup of honey
12 cherries, pitted and juiced or cherry juice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup (or honey if that's what you're using) and mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift the almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, sea salt, and baking soda together. Then, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring occasionally as you pour. Mix well, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand, incorporating them into the batter. Spoon about a 1/4 cup of the batter into each cupcake liner, so that each one is about 3/4 full. Then, bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Place them on a baking rack and let them cool before frosting them.
Then, add the coconut cream and honey to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or, if by hand, a regular bowl). Remove the stems and pit your cherries, if using whole fruit. Using a juicer (or alternatively a blender or food processor) process until the fruit becomes a juice (if you're using a blender or food processor, you will have to strain the finished liquid to ensure that you don't get any other parts of the cherry in with the juice.) Add the cherry liquid to the coconut cream and honey mixture and beat well.
Then, frost the cooled cupcakes by hand or with a piping tool. Keep in mind that your frosting will not hold up well in room temperature, so either frost just before serving, or keep refrigerated until serving them. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top to garnish.