Another reader request, this time Kelli asked me to create vegan chocolate-covered cherries–you know the kind with the gooey white filling? I took her idea and put a twist on it and methinks these are even better than just your typical chocolate-covered cherry!
What’s so different about these, you ask? Oh, great question–thank you for asking 😉 They are actually cupcake bites and they are every bit sinful and dreamy. I never really use those words to describe food but this time around it seems oh-so appropriate. I baked up a quick half dozen gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes sans xanthan gum because I knew they would crumble perfectly. And they did. Mark it as the first time (and probably last) I have ever actually tried to achieve a crumbly baked good.
Add a little bit of the cherry juice from the jar into the crumbled cupcake “batter,” mix it around until it blends in like a very wet sand and you have yourself a perfectly formable ball that glides over a cherry. It’s as if it was created for this moment exactly. I believe it was. Careful though. The batter alone will cause you to want to keep licking the fork. I did. And I liked it. A lot.
Once the balls are nice and neatly (but ever-so gently) packed comes the fun part! Chocolate dipping. You know that this is my favorite part. See that fun new tool I just recently bought? It’s a chocolate dipper (probably not its correct name) but it makes dipping super easy (hence its name)! You can always use a fork a spoon however, oh and if you have any questions about chocolate-making, remember I wrote this read-worthy post on all things chocolate.
Now the hard part comes: Waiting for them to set. I like putting my chocolate into the freezer because it sets quicker and well, I’m terrible with patience and waiting. Once they set, feel free to decorate them anyway you want. I used vegan white chocolate chips and did a Hostess Cupcakes squiggly design just because I think it’s adorable. So there.
- ¾ c. Cara's gluten-free flour blend -- see below (or use your own)
- ⅓ c. granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 Tbsp. boiling water
- 2 Tbsp. non-dairy chocolate chips, melted
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 10 maraschino cherries
- ¼ c. cherry juice
- ½ c. non-dairy chocolate, melted + 2 tsp. non hydrogenated shortening or refined coconut oil (mixed until smooth and ready for dipping)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin pan (if you have a 6 muffin pan, even better!)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and throw in all of the wet ingredients (except for the boiling water). Mix until almost combined and then add the water. Stir until combined.
- Pour batter into the muffin pan. If you are using a 12 muffin pan, fill the empty spots almost halfway with water just to make sure that they bake evenly. Just please be careful of the hot water when trying to remove the pan from the oven and when removing the cupcakes.
- Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool enough to touch.
- Place the crumbled cupcakes in a large bowl and add ¼ c. cherry juice. Stir until well blended. You may or may not need to add a little more later in order to keep the cupcake dough in tact. Use 1 tablespoon of cherry juice at a time at your own discretion.
- Form a flattened circle from a heaping tablespoon of the cupcake "dough" and place a cherry in the middle as seen above. Cover over the cherry and gently roll in between your hands to create a smooth ball. Repeat for the remainder of cherries.
- Dip the balls into the melted chocolate and allow to sit on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 10 minutes until chocolate has set.
- Decorate as you like and eat the crap out them.
Imagine the sheer delight of biting into one of these! What if you had no clue what was underneath, you would be so surprised as you bite down and taste this ultra-moist, super decadent chocolate cake with a hint of cherry and then…crunch. You find the maraschino cherry in the middle and bite into its juiciness. All the while the chocolate coating is rubbing off onto your fingers and your mouth (most likely, if you eat anything like me). Ohmygosh, I need another one…