chef tamara

August 10, 2009

When Chocolate Met Raspberry

Filed under: baking,educational — chef tamara @ 3:15 AM
Tags: , ,

Name the movie I took my post title from and I’ll make you cupcakes.***

Classic flavor combination: chocolate & raspberry. Who doesn’t love that? Um, if you don’t, then just go away. JUST KIDDING! I know, it ain’t for everybody. But for peeps like my friend Glenda, those flavors rock her world. So guess what cute little Glenda got for her birthday? YOU GOT IT! A 24 karat diamond ring. NOT!IMG_1766

She got something even better: Chocolate cupcakes filled with Raspberry preserves and topped with a Raspberry American Buttercream. FROM ME! Simple as pie. And just as delicious. Delicious like Buttermilk pie. I love Buttermilk pie. Maybe I should make some. And why am I talking about Buttermilk pie in a Chocolate & Raspberry cupcakes post?

Once you make your cupcakes let them cool well. As with all cakes, let cakes cool well before you cut/slice into them. It allows for clean cuts. If you’re just starving and don’t need clean cuts – or your OCD doesn’t make you desire clean cuts – then feel free and cut your cake up before they cool. Me? Me need clean cuts.


Now this is VERY IMPORTANT: you MUST use a tourne knife. YOU MUST! Jusssst kidding. You don’t need a tourne knife. It’s just that’s the sharpest knife I found when taking equipment to my dad’s house. So now it’s the sharpest knife in his kitchen. In his condo for the matter. Probably in his neighborhood. We seem to have a no-sharp-knife conundrum in this here island.

So I’m using a tourne knife. Point is, use a small knife. I go by the general rule: small item, small knife, large item, large knife. As I said, it’s a general rule in my rule book and not written in stone. But chances are using a Chef knife for this, besides cumbersome, could be dangerous. Unless you’re a badass like Iron Chef Sakai and can do the following with a simple Chef knife or Japanese slicer:


With a sharp knife cut into your cupcakes in a circular motion and at an angle. Ideally you will get a cute little cone of cake that easily pops out. You don’t HAVE to make a cone, you can go in straight, skipping the angle, but removing the cake won’t be as easy and may result in more of a mess and cake loss than necessary. IMG_1736

I like the cone. It comes out quick and clean. (Remember my need for clean cuts?) Besides, cutting the cone comes quite easy given I’ve blanched like 8976 pounds of Roma tomatoes. But what do blanched tomatoes have to do with this? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Am I easily distracted or what? Oh look a squirrel!


Once your cute little cone is out, cut off the tip of the cone to create a flat sided “lid.” This is your lid after filling your cupcake. This lid is totally optional given you can always cover it all with frosting. Especially if you’re piping it into a swirl of some sort. But I think you end up with way too much frosting that might take away from the role of your filling. Also, if you want a smoother frosting layer, you will achieve more balance and smoothness with the top on. Basic engineering peeps.

What do you do with the cut off cone tips? Two ideas. Eat them or save them and make Rum Balls or Cake Pops. More on those in the future.

Once you’ve hollowed out a space for your filling, well, go ahead and fill it. Cover it. And voila! Chocolate Cupcakes w/Raspberry filling and Raspberry Buttercream. IMG_1739

Just kidding! IMG_1749If using a filling from berries that have seeds, like Raspberries, I do recommend you STRAIN it to remove the seeds. Just an added detail of refinement. Which proves difficult in my dad’s kitchen given he had no sieve. Or cheesecloth. Or pantyhose. Yes, I asked him if he had any pantyhose. He did not.

Thankfully.IMG_1751Now here’s a tip from the culinary world: work assembly line style. What does this mean? I don’t know. Ask Henry Ford, he invented the system. I think.


No, really. When you’re making hundreds of things in a kitchen, you quickly learn that if you don’t work smart, fast, and efficiently, your butt’s outta there. Eventually it becomes second nature.IMG_1753

So instead of cutting ONE cupcake, then cutting off the tip, then filling with preserves, then covering with lid, then piping on frosting on ONE cupcake before proceeding to cupcake numero DOS, you need to first lay out your cakes. Then cut the cone off of all of them. Then cut the tip off of all the cones.


Then fill out ALL the cupcakes.


Then cover all the cupcakes with their lids.


Then frost. IMG_1757

I said FROST! Oh wait. Gotta make the frosting!

Remember, working assembly line style like us professionals will likely take you HALF the time you would take if doing them individually. And I use the term “us professionals” VERY, VERY loosely. 😉

And speaking of loosely, time for everybody’s favorite: FROSTING! Or is it ICING? Hmmm… I smell a research project. One I will give for my students to research and me to take all credit for. Not that it won’t come from Wikipedia and Google results given that’s all today’s kids use as “References.”


So to make the basic American Buttercream take softened unsalted butter and powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Quanitites depend on how soft or stiff you want it. This frosting uses a LOT of powdered sugar. But it’s delish. You can also add vanilla for added flavor and use heavy cream to thin it out some. Play with it.


With this one I added Raspberry preserves. I did add a smidgeon of Raspberry extract but barely any ’cause I wasn’t liking the flavor. It was cheap supermarket extract so skip that. Just add more preserves. But remember, if too soft or hot – like it is in Puerto Rico – it maye need more sugar to stiffen it up a bit. Once your frosting is well blended and you’ve achieved the desired consistency, frost those raspberry filled chocolate puppies!

Can you tell if I’m right or left handed by the direction of my swirl? IMG_1762

I can. AND OH MY GOSH! OMG! OMG! OMG does that bottom cupcake stepping out of line bother anyone other than me? This picture and that out of line cupcake keeps me up at night. Dammit!


But yeah. there you have it. Chocolate cupcakes filled with Raspberry preserves and topped with Raspberry Buttercream.


¡Felíz cumpleaños Glenda! These are waaaaaaaaay better than one of these:

Trust me.

***The cupcakes will be made in your dreams. 😉



  1. Chef Tamara Great recipe! – these were/are amazing

    Comment by shaunmcgowan — August 10, 2009 @ 4:19 AM | Reply

  2. These are absolutely phenomenal. One of the best birthday presents I have received in a long time!

    Comment by Glenda — August 10, 2009 @ 5:42 PM | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: