Science Thursday Vol. 4: Brownie Cups with Cherries Jubilee and Mascarpone Whipped Cream – Supporting the Canadian Federation for the Blind

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After a bit of a delay we’ve finally arrived at the long-promised brownie cups. I’ve opted to fill them with Cherries Jubilee which is another flambeed fruit dish.  This means I’ve indulged in a boozy recipe again.  As with the previous recipes you can feel free to just leave this out if you’d like.  I promise next month I’ll take a break from my bad habit of sneaking booze in all my baking.   This is also another complicated multi-step recipe, but in all honesty each step is delicious on it’s own, so you could make one element for a simpler dessert if you’d like.

Before we get started you are going to want a few specific tools or supplies:

  1. foil cupcake liners – if you try and use standard paper baking cups, you’re going to have a bad time with this recipe.  They tend to bond permanently with the brownie.  Either track down some foil liners (they typically sell Reynolds brand foil cupcake liners at Superstore, they are in the baking isle with the regular paper liners) or if you have silicone cup liners use those.
  2. cherry pitter – this will make your life infinitely easier
  3. scale – these are just great for making food.  You should get one if you don’t have one.

Step One: Brownie Cups

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You can find a lot of different methods for making these online.  Many of them suggest letting the brownies bake between two cupcake tins so that the batter bakes up around the top tin.  The people that tell you this will work are lying.  Or they are in league with dark magics that allow them to accomplish the baking impossible.  The method I have below is much easier and does not require the sacrifice of small mammals to any elder gods or dark lords.

If you have a favourite brownie recipe in your arsenal feel free to use it here.  I opted to alter my preferred brownie recipe a bit.  I thought something a bit more chocolatey would stand up more to any filling that you might want to put into the cups.

These would make great vessels for ice cream. If you wanted to skip all the other steps and just make them.

½ cup flour

¼ cup cocoa

1/8 tsp salt

3 oz chocolate

1/3 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

  • Prepare one standard cupcake pan by lining it with foil or silicone liners (I know I have paper ones in the pictures, this was a mistake.  Do as I say not as I do) and preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • In a bowl sift together the flour, cocoa and salt
  • In a second bowl microwave the chocolate and butter for 30 seconds and whisk, repeat microwaving and whisking until both are melted and you have a smooth even mixture
  • In a third bowl (yes you are going to get so many dished dirty with this recipe) whisk your eggs gently
  • Add the sugar to the eggs and whisk
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture to the sugar egg mixture and whisk until evenly mixed
  • Using a spatula gently fold the sifted dry ingredients into your chocolate-egg mixture
  • Scoop the brownie batter into the cavities of the prepared cupcake pan filling each of the liners no more than ¾ full
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes
  • As soon as you remove the brownies from the oven use a measuring cup that is slightly smaller in diameter than your brownie cups to press the centre of the brownies down to make a cup shape
  • Allow the brownies to cool

 

Cherries Jubilee

Before you get started with flambeing your cherries remember all the safety issues I nagged you about in the bananas foster recipe.

Like the brownie cups, this pairs well with ice cream.  For a simpler dessert just scoop some over vanilla ice cream.

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12 oz of washed pitted fresh cherries

2 Tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

3 Tablespoons of Amaretto

 

  • Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat
  • Toss the cherries, sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl and add to the melted butter
  • Cook the cherries stirring until the juice from the cherries thickens into a nice sauce  like consistency
  • Pour the amaretto into the cherries stir for a few seconds until the liqueur warms a bit
  • Apply flame to flambe the cherries
    • Fact: If you shout “Jubilee” in your best Scott Thompson as the Queen voice while lighting your cherries on fire they will taste 10 – 20 percent better (I know cherries jubilee was made for Victoria’s Jubilee and not Elizabeth’s but to my knowledge Scott Thompson doesn’t do a Queen Victoria impersonation). download
  • Douse the flame and allow your cherries to cool

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Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Because you are working with such small amounts with the mascarpone and whipping cream a stand mixer would be ineffective, so don’t bother dragging yours out.

If you’re going for an easier dessert idea this would make a great pairing with berries or fruit.

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½ cup mascarpone

2 Tablespoons whipped cream

1 ½ Tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons amaretto

 

  • In one bowl whisk the mascarpone until it is smooth
  • In another bowl using a whisk, whip the cream until it starts to thicken then add the sugar and amaretto and continue to whip until you have stiff peaks
  • Add half of your whipped cream to the mascarpone and fold it in
  • Fold in the remaining half of your whipped cream

 

Red Wine Ganache

Again, this goes nicely with ice cream it would make an excellent addition to any sunday bar.

2 oz chocolate

3 Tablespoons whipping cream

1 ½ teaspoons red wine

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate and cream in 30 second increments stirring after each one until the chocolate is melted and you can stir it to make a smooth mixture
  • Stir in the red wine

 

 

Assembly

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  • Into the bottom of each cup spoon a bit of ganache reserving some to drizzle on top
  • Scoop the cherries into each cup
  • Pipe the mascarpone whipped cream on top
  • Drizzle on some of the remaining ganache
  • Serve chilled
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