black forest cupcakes

425g canned and pitted cherries in syrup.
155g butter, chopped
100g dark eating chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1/4 cup cherry brandy (or a dash of cherry essence if you prefer)
1 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
1 serving of buttercream, flavoured with cherry essence (see buttercream recipe post)
A couple of pitted cherries and grated chocolate for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
2. Drain cherries, reserve syrup. Process 1/2 cup of the cherries with 1/2 cup of the syrup until smooth. Halve remaining cherries and keep for decoration. Discard remaining syrup.
3. Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, brandy (or essence) and cherry puree in small saucepan and stir over a low heat until chocolate has melted. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
4. Whisk sifted flours and cocoa, then add the egg into the chocolate mixture. Divide mixture into patty cases.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes. Stand cakes in the tray for 5 minutes before turning (top side up) onto wire rack to cool.
6. Top cakes with remaining cherry halves and pipe the buttercream carefully on top. If you’re using the cream/brandy recipe, combine 2/3 cup of thickened cream and 2 teaspoons of cherry brandy and drizzle cream over the halves cherries. Grate chocolate and sprinkle over buttercream/cream.