As I was going through some of my sessions over the past year or two and cleaning out old files, I noticed I had quite a few sessions with brothers. I love sibling photos (I have three sisters, 2 step-sisters, and 2 step-brothers myself!) Here are a few of my favorite photos I’ve taken of brothers. My favorite is the last photo — it was towards the end of the session and they wanted to play in the mud puddle so I thought “why not?”. I clicked the shutter just as the youngest accidentally flicked mud on his older brother!
I love cupcakes and I love the chocolate and raspberry flavor combo, so I couldn’t wait to try this recipe for chocolate raspberry cupcakes. The cake base for this recipe is tender and moist. I’ve tried different chocolate cupcake bases and this is by far my favorite. It will be my “go-to” chocolate cupcake base from now on. The base is filled with a chocolate-raspberry ganache and then topped off with a chocolate-raspberry frosting. I have to warn you that there is a LOT of ganache left over. It makes a couple of cups of ganache and don’t think I used even one quarter of it to fill my cupcakes. I plan on making these cupcakes again this week for a party, so I kind of liked that there was ganache left over. It would also be wonderful over vanilla ice cream! However, if you don’t want a lot of leftover ganache I would suggest cutting that part of the recipe in half.
These cupcakes are wonderful and perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Servings: 30 cupcakes
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 and 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or chips)
2 and 1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1 pound semisweet chocolate chips
1 and 1/3 cups sour cream
6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Garnish: fresh raspberries
1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line cupcakes pans with paper liners.
3. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and carefully pour the hot coffee over the chocolate; let sit for about 1 minute. Whisk until smooth; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, basking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
6. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate.
7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
8. Divide the batter among liners and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18–20 minutes.
9. For the chocolate-raspberry ganache: Place the bittersweet chocolate in a bowl.
10. In a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove, gently bring the cream to a slight boil.
11. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the bittersweet chocolate; let sit for about one minute, then whisk until smooth.
12. Add the raspberry jam to the chocolate/cream mixture and whisk until smooth.
13. Refrigerate until ready to use.
14. For the frosting: In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
15. Once cooled to room temperature, add the sour cream, raspberry jam, corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat (using your stand mixer or a hand mixer) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
16. Add the butter to the mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Set aside until ready to use.
17. To assemble the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, gently cut out a small hole in the center top of each cupcake. Using a piping bag or a small spoon, gently place a teaspoon or two of the ganache into the center of each cupcake. Pipe your frosting, as desired, onto the tops of each cupcake. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
I love when clients ask me to take photos at their home. It’s always a little bit of a challenge for me because I never know what the lighting will be like, what backgrounds will be available, etc. It is also really fun because I know these photos will be unique and very special to the family because they are so personalized. I was lucky this day because we had an old barn as a great backdrop plus shaded woods in the backyard!
Due to my daughter’s illness I am not scheduling any portrait sessions until summer. My 6-year old daughter Emily has leukemia and will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant in February. The new year was going to bring a lot of changes to KWP — it was going to be an exciting year. I hope it still will be but it will be delayed until the second half of 2012! Until I am scheduling and posting new sessions again, I plan to post my favorite photos from years past. I also plan to share my favorite photos of Emily.
If you would like to follow our journey you can do so here: http://www.facebook.com/emilybrookewhitehead
We are hoping for a healthier, happy new year!
Tom, Kari, Emily & Lucy