Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

I love bubbles. Prosecco, Spumante, Moscato, Champagne and their not-technically-champagne-but-totally-champagne American cousins, the "sparkling wines"... I love them all.  Maybe these wines hold a certain cachet because we typically reserve them for special occasions, but I think a little fizz is perfect anytime, and love to top off cocktail creations with a little sparkling whenever possible.

(P.S. If you're ever traveling through the Atlanta airport, stop off at One Flew South in the E Terminal and ask for "The Cardinale"--a cocktail of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, red grapefruit juice and prosecco. I made it up while delayed and killing time over sushi.  I can't take credit for the name, though. You can blame the bartender for that one.)

Anyway, I have wanted to make champagne cupcakes every New Year, and in addition to getting a sample of my favorite ingredient while baking, I love these cupcakes because they helped me knock out two New Year's baking resolutions at once: finally getting around to making a baked good with champagne in it, and also making my first ever filled cupcakes. And it was so easy! Just make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled and use a sharp knife and voila!

I also got an awesome cupcake corer for Christmas but, unfortunately, this cake recipe was a little too dense to use the plastic corer successfully without damaging the cupcakes.

This recipe is from the amazing Sprinkle Bakes, whom I found to have the best recipe after my annual champagne cupcake recipe stalking. This recipe is a little time consuming, but totally worth it; they were declared by a coworker to be "Possibly the best cupcake I have ever had. Even though I've only ever had about three or four cupcakes." : ) So there you go.  Happy New Year!

Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes
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 similar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. 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. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. in a medium sized bowl, 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 thick.

3. Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Set aside.

Champagne Filling
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup champagne or prosecco
2 tbsp cornstarch
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

1. 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.

2. 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 in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

3. Cut a divot into the top of each cupcake 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
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne or prosecco
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Frost the cream-filled cupcakes and decorate as desired.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard of Champagne frosting but never seen a recipe with champagne in the actual cupcakes - fabulous!