Chocolate cherry cola cupcakes

Warm cherry cola is the secret to infusing fruity flavour into these cakes.
  • For the cupcakes
  • 400g granulated sugar
  • 220g plain flour
  • 95g cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250ml gold top milk
  • 120ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 250ml cherry cola, warmed in the microwave for 1 minute
  • 150g crushed yogurt-covered pretzels
  • For the red liquorice filling
  • 142g red liquorice (about 10 jumbo pieces)
  • 500ml water
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • For the marshmallow icing
  • 8 egg whites
  • 400g granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • For the cherry cola glaze
  • 3 to 5 tbsp cherry cola
  • 100g icing sugar

Serves: 24 cakes

1) Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line the cups of 2 standard-size cupcake tins with paper baking cases.

2) In a large bowl using an electric mixer on low speed, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the warmed cherry cola until fully combined.

3) Fill the paper cupcake cases three-quarters full with batter and bake until the cupcakes spring back when touched with your finger, 10 to 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

4) Fill each of the cupcakes with red liquorice filling. Sprinkle the crushed yogurt-covered pretzels on top. Top with marshmallow icing and drizzle with cherry cola glaze.

To make the red liquorice filling:
1) Tear the liquorice into 2.5cm pieces and place in a saucepan with the water over a medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Whisk in the sugar, cornflour, salt and egg yolks.

2) Cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and bubbly. Continue to cook for 1 minute, and then remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature.

To make the marshmallow icing:
1) Place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heat-safe bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Whisk constantly over the heat for 1 to 3 minutes.

2) Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks have formed, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.

To make the cherry cola glaze:
1) Add the cherry cola, 1 tsp at a time, to the icing sugar until it has a good consistency to drizzle on cupcakes.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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