1 cup (227g/8oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups (340g/12oz) powdered sugar (plus more as needed)
2 Tbsp. meringue powder
¼ cup seedless raspberry puree (plus more as needed)
3 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 350F/176C and position the rack in the lower third. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with papers or grease the pan well.
Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for a few seconds until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes.
Beat the eggs together and add the vanilla to the eggs. Stream this mixture very slowly into the butter mixture while beating constantly to incorporate the eggs into the butter and sugar.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
Add ⅓ of flour mixture to the butter and sugar and beat slowly on low just until combined. Add half of the raspberry puree and beat again on low until combined. Repeat with another ⅓ of the flour mixture and raspberry puree and then the last third of the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl as needed during this process.
Divide the batter into the pan, filling the wells about ⅔ full. Depending on the size of the wells of your cupcake pan, you may need to use a second pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and a toothpick poked in the center of a cupcake comes out with moist crumbs.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes and then carefully remove them to a rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter well in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar and meringue powder and beat well. Add the raspberry puree and beat well. Check the texture and add more puree or more sugar to get the consistency you'd like. Pipe the buttercream on top of the cooled cupcakes and then drizzle with melted and cooled chocolate if desired.
Recipe by BakeNQuilt at http://www.bakenquilt.com/2015/06/chocolate-raspberry-cupcakes/