Adventure #10 – Strawberry and Champagne Cupcakes

February 14, 2010

In honor of Valentine’s Day I decided to transform my favorite wine and food pairing into a delicious dessert!  My love of champagne and strawberries began with “Pretty Woman” (who doesn’t love the scene where Richard Gere takes prostitute Julie Roberts up to the hotel room and “takes the liberty” of ordering this classy treat??), but has since grown into my go-to choice to end a fabulous dinner.  I figured I wasn’t the first person to think of champagne cupcakes, so I did a google search to get me started.  I found a great recipe for Champagne Cupcakes with Sweet Champagne Buttercream from gimmesomeoven.com.  I added my own little twist by filling the cupcakes with strawberry jam.  The results?  A light, sweet cake with a creamy, buttery frosting and a fruity, tart center that brought the whole package together.  The champagne wasn’t overpowering, but it gave the cakes a lighter consistency and slightly sweet taste.  I wish I had pictures of the look of sheer delight on people’s faces when they found the surprise in the middle!

Below is the cake and frosting recipe from gimmesomeoven.com.  To fill the cupcakes, I used store bought strawberry jam.  I transfered the jam into a plastic bottle with a pointy tip and a hole large enough to squeeze out the jam.  When the cupcakes are cool (and before they are frosted), I poke a hole in the center of each cupcake with the plastic tip and then squeeze about a tablespoon of jam into the center.  Cover with the frosting and red sugar crystals and voila!

Champagne Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better – even strawberry would be great!!)
  • 6 egg whites

Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

Method:

To Make The Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.  (This recipe yielded about 20 for me.)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites.  Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

To Make The Frosting:

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.  Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.

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