Monday, June 6, 2011

Wine & Cheese Cupcakes

If you pinned me in a corner and asked me to name two of my favorite things, I don't think a breath would escape me before I claimed "WINE AND CUPCAKES!" So this past weekend as I was planning my menu to cup-cater a bridal shower in the suburbs, I decided to reach for the both the bottle and the baking soda.

The result? The perfect blend of light, fluffy chocolate with the bite of a delicious red wine and the sweet, smooth taste of Mascarpone cheese!  It's a perfect cupcake for a girls night, dinner party, bridal shower or Tuesday.

Maybe I'd had one glass too many, but I was pretty darn proud of my most recent cupcake adventure:

Chocolate-red wine cupcakes with a chocolate-red wine ganache filling and a mascarpone frosting.

Here's what you'll need for the cupcakes (24 of 'em):1/2 c. cocoa
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 sticks (16 tbs) unsalted butter (room temp)
4 eggs
1 1/4 c. flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. of your favorite full bodied red wine
1/4 c. heavy cream

-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
-Line two cupcake trays with 24 of the cutest cupcake cups you can find
-Whisk together your flour, baking soda and salt
-Bring our water to a boil while putting your chocolate and your cocoa in a bowl together
-Begin creaming butter and sugar, then add your eggs one at a time
-When your water comes to a boil, pour it over your chocolate and cocoa and stir until smooth
-Gradually add your flour mix to your butter mixture 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary until just combined
-Pour about a quarter of your wine in to the mix on medium speed and then about a quarter of your chocolate mix -- alternate until all combined
-Evenly distribute amongst your cupcake cups (I like to live by 1.5 hefty tablespoons per cup)
-Bake 17-19 minutes  or until a toothpick comes out clean (don't overbake!)
-Allow them to cool while getting started on your frosting and ganache
-When the cupcake is completely cool to the touch, use a cupcake corer (or spoon) to remove the center from the cupcakes

Here's what you'll need for the ganache:
1/2 c. water
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. red wine
2 tbs. unsalted butter (room temp)

-Place a glass bowl on top of a small pot filled with the water, then break up the bittersweet chocolate and place it in bowl and place the pot on the stove at medium heat (editor's note: I use an electric stove. You'll probably want to put it on low or medium-low if you've got a gas stove)
-Simmer the heavy cream in one pan and wine in another pan on the stove
-When chocolate begins to melt, pour simmering cream on top and allow it to sit for about 30 seconds
-Stir in the simmering wine until the chocolate is smooth
-Drop in the butter and stir until smooth
-Remove the pot from the heat, but do not remove the bowl of chocolate from the pot
-When cupcakes are cooled and cored, spoon the ganache in to the center of the cupcakes until it's level with the top of the cupcake

Here's what you'll need for the frosting:

8 oz. Mascarpone cheese (room temp)
1 tbs heavy cream
+/- 4 cups powdered sugar
24 seedless red grapes

-Cream your Mascarpone cheese on medium speed
-Gradually add in your powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches the consistency and taste that you can't stop licking off of your fingers (and washing your hands after, of course)
-Add 1 tbs of heavy cream if desired amongst additions of powdered sugar
-Pipe or swirl the frosting on to the cupcake
-Garnish with a red grape

I love adding fillings to my cupcakes. It always winds up being a delicious surprise.  But this was absolutely the best ganache I've ever made!  I might be bias thanks to my obsession with wine, but I think you'll agree! Hopefully this cupcake will be a hit at your next gathering as it was at mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment