RED WINE CUPCAKES

When I first stumbled across this recipe I nearly fainted.  Chocolate cupcakes, with red wine in the batter….AND in the frosting. Oh my gosh have I died and gone to heaven?  So this was very exciting and of course I had to create this magnificent combination of flavours.  I borrowed the original recipe from here.  Her pictures are much better than the ones my iPhone is capable of taking. Poo. But no matter.  For my cupcakes I’m sure turned out just as wonderful!

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Chocolate and Red Wine Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the Chocolate batter…

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate (72%), broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 3\4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used a merlot, but the author from delacasa has used a shiraz as well and said it has turned out just as well)

1. Preheat over to 350˚F.  Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers.

2. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder and chocolate pieces.  Whisk in the boiling water until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined.

3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.  Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix until just combined.  Add the chocolate mixture and wine, and mix until batter is smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring there are no flour streaks and the batter is well mixed.

4. Divide batter among cupcakes liners, filling them approximately halfway.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the red wine frosting…

  • 1 cup wine plus 4 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/4 cup granular sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened but still cold
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Small seedless grapes for garnish

1. Place the wine and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, and simmer until mixture is reduced to scant 1/3 cup.  This…I did not find simple.  How do you know when the mixture is reduced? Uhg I kept having to take it out of the pan and toss it in a measuring cup, and then putting it back in to allow it to simmer more.  So confusing! But at last, I succeeded.  I feel like it was about 10 minutes, so I’m going to say, let it simmer for approximately 7 to 10 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the softened butter and confectioners sugar.  Mix on low speed at first, and then on high until mixer is fluffy.  I suggest adding 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar at a time, scrapping down the sides of the bowl between each added cup, as it will better blend with the butter.  With the mixer running, add the cooled wine and sugar reduction.  Add the salt and beat until well combines.

3.  With the mixer running, gradually pour the the 4 tablespoons of wine, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thoroughly mixed.  I found the frosting a little runnier than I would have liked, so at the very end I added another 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar, adding 1/4 cup at a time, until it was the consistency I wanted.  Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with the tip of your choice (I used a Wilton 1M attachment), and frost your cupcakes.  Garnish with a red grape.

So there you have it, chocolate red wine cupcakes.  Very tasty.  They were however, not my favourite, as they were a teensy bit too sweet for my liking.  I think it was most likely because of the amount of sugar in the frosting.  That obviously didn’t stop me from eating three out of this batch so clearly I did something right.  Happy baking!

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CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

Peanut butter and chocolate…my favourite combination.  There is nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter together.  I want them to get married and have babies, that’s how much I love them.  So clearly, making chocolate peanut butter cupcakes is a necessity to my cupcake endeavors.  The cupcakes turned out amazing! I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe for the cupcake batter, a peanut butter cream frosting, and topped it with a Reese’s mini peanut butter cup half.

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THE FROSTING

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugarphoto (11)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl and with a mixer on medium-low speed mix until creamy.  Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

DECORATING THE CAKES 

Add the peanut butter cream frosting into a decorating bag, and using a Wilton 1M attachment create a swirl to cover the top of the cupcake.  For best results pipe the frosting holding the bag about 1/4 inch above the cake at a 90 degree angle.  Always make sure you have given the cupcakes the chance to cool before frosting them!

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Once the frosting has been added, add the Reese`s mini halves to the tops.  Freeze the peanut butter cups before cutting them into halves as they will be less likely to crack or crumble.

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