Sunday, February 10, 2013

Champagne Cupcakes


Hello everyone! So I've been wanting and wanting to make this recipe for almost two months now... every weekend I thought about making it, I ended up being busy with something else or not had the chance to just bake to my heart's content. The printed recipe and the bottle of champagne just sat in my kitchen, patiently waiting until the day I could bake... and that day, my friends, was today!! Hurray! With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I wanted to make something a little bit more "sophisticated" and grown-up, and I think these cupcakes fit the bill.
So what about these cupcakes? I found the recipe through Google from Sprinkle Bakes towards the end of last year. Her cupcake pictures were so cute and festive, and the recipe just sounded great. And 
I always love to make cupcakes that have a filling... the filling adds another layer of depth to the cupcake, and always surprises the person eating it, especially if they weren't expecting it. Okay, starting with the cake itself: it's a very fluffy and light cupcake, and you can't really taste the champagne in it. Now this filling: man, I couldn't get enough of it! There is a definite flavor of champagne, but not strong at all. And the frosting was very airy and "light" (if butter and sugar can ever be called light ha!) We had a little bit of the filling left over, and it was gone in a blink of an eye as we ate it with the extra cupcake cones and some strawberries we had at home. :) One quick note, I used Martini and Rossi's Asti Sparkling Wine as my "champagne", and I thought it turned out perfect. Asti is pretty sweet, so if you'd like something less sweet, then maybe the Prosecco type of champagne called for in the original recipe may be better. 
So hope you get a chance to make these cupcakes for your loved ones, I promise it will be a hit!
Champagne Cupcakes
Yields about 18 cupcakes

Cake ingredients: 
-1/2 cup butter softened
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup champagne, prosecco or your choice of sparkling wine


Cake directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Batter will be a little thick.
Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17-20 minutes.  Set aside.

Pastry Cream Filling ingredients:
-1/4 + 1/4 cup heavy cream (divided)-1/2 cup champagne
-2 Tbsp cornstarch 
-4 Tbsp granulated sugar
-1 whole egg
-2 egg yolks
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
-1 tsp vanilla


Pastry Cream Filling directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar and 1/2 cup champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture.  Pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook.  Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil.  Pour in the hot egg mixture into the simmering champagne/heavy cream mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.  
Cut a divot into the top of each cupcake, using the cone method, and fill with pastry cream.  Trim the cut-out cake pieces flat to make a "lid" and place on top of the filled divot.
Champagne Frosting ingredients:
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne or prosecco
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Champagne Frosting directions:
Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together.  Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus  1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.

Recipe originally from Sprinkle Bakes

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