Valentine’s Day is around the corner and Martin Howard, an award-winning pastry chef by day and a performer by night at legendary Stonewall Inn (Obama referenced it in his inaugural address), has created a decadent and whimsical Valentine’s Day-themed chocolate dessert with Portón pisco. Just like love and marriage, chocolate desserts go hand-in-hand with Valentine’s Day! 

Romantic Portón Chocolate Cherry Cupcake


Drain one can of black cherries. Place juice in pan and add ¾ c. sugar and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add cherries, ¼ c. pisco and ¼ tsp. almond extract. Set aside and let cool.

Whisk together cocoa and water and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Add salt, vanilla and yolks. Beat until light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add alternately with buttermilk. Add cocoa/water mixture and scrape bowl well and beat until smooth. Scoop into greased cupcake pan, filling each 2/3 full. Bake at 350ᵒ for 20 minutes.


½ c. boiling water

½ c. cocoa powder

6 t. butter

1 c. sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ c. buttermilk


4 egg whites

¾ c. sugar

1 c. butter, soft

1 tsp. vanilla extract



4 Egg whites

¾ c. Sugar

1 c. Butter, soft

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

In a metal bowl, whisk together whites and sugar. Place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until hot and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and whip stiff with electric mixer. On a low speed whip in butter in small pieces. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.

Place cupcakes upside-down on small cardboard circles. Cut in half and brush with cherry juice. Spread buttercream on the bottom layer of each cupcake, then place tops on. Spread buttercream all over cupcakes. Top with 3-4 cherries each. Serve at room temperature.























Courtesy of EVIN associates