Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A brilliant kitchen experiment...

So yesterday I got it in my head that a champagne cupcake would be perfect for New Years. So I scoured the internet a bit and came up with a game plan. The result was absolutely delicious, but not quite as pretty as I would like. I'm gonna continue to work on the recipe, but I wanted to share it anyway, since it just tasted so damn good.

For the cupcake itself, I found inspiration in a pear and champagne cupcake. While I'd love to try the exact recipe, I decided, for now, to modify it for strawberries instead. This is due, in part, to the line from Pretty Woman about strawberries and champagne. That one line from the movie makes up approximately 50% of my knowledge about champagne, with the other 50% coming from the one time (before last night) that I ever drank champagne (which was a zillion years ago in college).

So here's the recipe I used:
For cupcakes:
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 sticks of butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c defrosted frozen, sliced strawberries
1 cup champagne
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In mixer (or large bowl), cream butter and sugar until well mixed and airy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is full incorporated before adding next.
  5. Slowly add in flour mixture - I do it 1/3 at a time - making sure it is fully incorporated.
  6. Stir in vanilla and champagne.
  7. Stir in strawberries.
  8. Bake for about 16 minutes.
Mine sunk in the middle. While, in general, I don't mind it too much because it makes it easier to frost them, I want to be able to make them perfect so I did a bit of research to see why they sunk. I think the reason is because they were mixed too much after adding flour. The one thing I've learned about making cupcakes is that you want to get as much of the ingredients mixed in BEFORE adding flour and, once the flour is added, mix just enough to ensure everything is incorporated and stop. So, next time I make these, I will add the strawberries after the eggs and mix 1 c flour, 1/2 c champagne, 1 c flour, 1/2 c champagne, and 3/4 c flour.

Now to the frosting... I started with my basic cream cheese frosting and added a few tbsp of fresh strawberry juice and a ton of champagne. The big problem is that my champagne was chilled so, when I added it to the softened cream cheese and butter frosting base, it didn't appear to be making it liquefy too much so I just thought "woo hoo! Keep pouring". But the cold champagne was just cooling and thickening the cream cheese and butter. When I added the sugar and kept mixing, it got thinner and thinner. The end result was delicious, but much thinner than I would normally want. So next time I'll cut down on the champagne quite a bit.
For frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
2 tbsp strawberry juice
some champagne (yes I applied liberally)


Doc said...

I was with you on the egg nog cuppys but not sure I can sign on for champagne... Very creative though.

Paige said...

Actually I couldn't eat the eggnog ones cause it grosses me out. But these are damn good!