Cupcakes! Champagne and Strawberries

11 Dec

I haven’t made cupcakes in a looooooong time, but I was asked to donate some for a fundraising auction at work so I got excited to try a new recipe. The auction winner chose Champagne and Strawberries, yum.

First things first, making the chocolate covered strawberries. I never use anything but Ghirardelli baking chocolates. It is one thing to splurge on, like real vanilla extract, pure cane powdered sugar, etc.

So start by setting up a double boiler- I fill a small saucepan halfway with water and set to boil. Then set a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan. (Pyrex works great) You are supposed to chop up the chocolate, but I just break it up and put it in the bowl to melt.

I did 2 dozen small strawberries with just 6 oz of semisweet chocolate. Wash and dry the berries, dip in the melted chocolate, set onto a sheet of waxed paper to cool. Easy peasy. If you want to get really fancy, melt some white chocolate, and use a piping bag to drizzle it over the top.

Next I set out to make the cake part of the cupcakes. I’ve made a pink champagne cake before, so this was familiar. I tried a new recipe though, and modified it a tiny bit. It called for 7 egg whites, and 7 yolks- crazy. So I cut out 1 egg. The whites made a mountain of meringue. This was folded VERY carefully into some sugar, the egg yolks, vanilla, red food coloring, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and 3/4 cup sweet champagne. Then divided evenly into 36 lined muffin cups.

They are very light and fluffy, on account of all the egg whites. Which had me thinking about a lighter and fluffier frosting than just a basic ganache which the recipe called for. In December’s issue of Martha Stewart Living there was a whole article on ganache- including a whipped version. I thought it was brilliant, but it took forever to make. I thought it was just never going to whip up:

then boom- after about 7 minutes with the mixer it finally went from a very liquid state to a light airy mousse. This then went on the cupcakes like a frosting, and I topped them off with the chocolate strawberries. I even went and put them in nice bakery box.

 

And yes, that is a box with 24 cupcakes, when I made 36. I ate the other ones while testing out the champagne glaze v.s straight champagne brushed onto the cakes before the ganache. I went with a mix of both. The glaze was simple too, stick of butter, cup of sugar- melted, reduced down  and mixed with some bubbly.

Finished product, so yummy:

 

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One Response to “Cupcakes! Champagne and Strawberries”

  1. simplydelish December 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Yum, love the idea of putting the chocolate covered strawberries on cupcakes!

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