Now that the weather has switched from 50°F and magical to icy and gray ’round these parts, hanging out inside and making delicious treats that warm up the house sounds like the best plan. Whether you’re making resolutions (I suggest the Taco Cleanse!) or forgoing the idea entirely, because a little indulgence now and then is healthy. Meet Maple Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Covered Figs.
I made all sorts of baked goods and candy over the holidays, but stopping to photograph everything instantly turns into work, even if I love the work I do! We all need some kind of break sometimes so instead of sharing that stuff, I’m moving right along to those cupcakes.
This cupcake is a little bit grown up with figs and maple syrup, but at the core, it’s a good chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and more chocolate. The base is a chocolate maple cupcake with a maple fig filling, then it’s topped with maple buttercream and a chocolate covered fig.
“But Kelly, that’s a fuckton of maple syrup and maple syrup is expensive!” I know, right? You can replace half of the syrup in the filling and/or cake with brown sugar and as a result, you still get some maple flavor (supplement with maple extract for more flavor, and a couple teaspoons of water for moisture). But if you happen to have a giant stock of maple syrup, you can then create the most maple-y maple flavor by using the full amount.
Maple Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Covered Figs
Makes 12 cupcakes
2/3 cup (about 6) finely chopped dried figs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Covered Figs
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening or oil
1/3 cup non-dairy margarine
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
For the fig filling: Combine figs, water, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring and mashing the figs occasionally until they form a thick, jam-like paste. The figs will soak up a lot of water, so add more water if necessary. Set aside and let cool.
For the Maple Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a stand mixer or mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the canola oil, milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
Using a cupcake scoop, fill each cupcake liner a little more than halfway. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the chocolate-covered figs and the frosting. Cut the stems off each fig, and slice each one in half. Line a cookie sheet or large plate with parchment paper.
For the Chocolate Covered Figs: Melt the chocolate and shortening or oil in the microwave or on the stovetop using a double boiler method. Dip each fig half in the chocolate, then transfer to the parchment-lined sheet with a fork. Let cool at room temperature, then pop in the fridge to let the chocolate set.
For the frosting: Cream together the margarine and shortening in a stand mixer or with hand beaters. Gradually add the powdered sugar, sifting as you go. Once half the powdered sugar is mixed in, start gradually drizzling in the maple syrup. Mix until completely incorporated, then beat the frosting for 6-8 minutes. Add the maple extract, if using. Add more powdered sugar or maple syrup reduction to adjust the consistency of the frosting if necessary.
To assemble the cupcakes: Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake, then fill each one with 2-3 teaspoons of fig filling. Spread or pipe on the maple frosting, then garnish with a chocolate-covered fig half. Finally, drizzle on a small amount of maple syrup before serving, if desired.
Enjoy the beginning of 2016, and those Maple Chocolate Cupcakes!
Also, I have a New Year’s sale going on in my cookbook and food photography shop, SHOP | kelly peloza photo! Everything is 25% through the end of the week, which includes signed copies of Cheers to Vegan Sweets, matted food photography prints, greeting cards, zines, and magnets. If you’ve been eyeing anything or are in need of gift, now is the time!
Enter “SHOPSMALL2016” to take 25% off your purchase at checkout.