My boyfriend graduated University after 6 long years this past June and his family threw him a party to celebrate. I had seen these on my (new favourite site) Pinterest and was pretty much determined to make them. They went over really well and were by far the coolest cupcakes I have ever made. I of course had to change them a bit, making them black forest for Sean, since its his favourite.
I really tend to keep it simple when I'm making a large amount of cupcakes and stick to a box cake mix. I used a Swiss Chocolate Duncan Hines cake mix for this one. Bake them according to the box, they usually make 24-30. I got 30 out of mine. I let these sit and cool over night, but a few hours will be fine.
You can buy a cupcake corer at Williams Sonoma or just use a paring knife to cut out a cylinder of the middle of the cupcake about half way deep. You can throw out the scraps.
Before moving on, pour a jar of pitted "sour" cherries through a strainer. Pour 1 cup of the juice into a small saucepan and add 1/2 cup of white sugar. Boil until reduced into a slight syrup, not too thick. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops and the hole in the cupcake with the drained juice from the cherries. Let this absorb completely and do it one or two more times depending how cherry flavoured you want them.
Place a cherry into each cupcake center.
I made a double recipe of stabilized Whipped Cream with this recipe. I needed the whipped cream to hold its shape for a little while so I decided to use this.
Put a bit of whipped cream on top of the cherry in the centers, and top with another cherry. Continue to ice the whole cupcake.
Taa-Daa! Black Forest Cupcakes!
Now for the Graduation Part of these Cupcakes, which was actually what I saw on Pinterest. I couldn't actually find much on them, a few people recommended Ghirardelli Chocolates for the tops, but those are fairly expensive for people that probably wouldn't notice either way.
I bought a bag of individually wrapped Reese's Mini Cups for the base. I melted 14 oz of chocolate and butterscotch chips (half and half) separately over a double boiler. I poured down the bittersweet Chocolate and swirled the butterscotch on top in a parchment lined baking sheet. I smoothed this out and put it in the fridge for about an hour. This is basically a chocolate bark. After it has cooled, cut it into about 2" squares. I put it back in the fridge after this.
I made a half recipe of this Icing Glue to attach the bottom of the Reese's Cups to the Bark Squares. You can definitely stop after this, they will look like little Grad Caps. I chose to add a licorice rope tassel with an edible Candy Pearl on the top.
Press the caps onto the Cupcakes and you're ready to go!
Here's A Picture: