Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Champagne Cupcakes with a Blueberry Twist

So, here we go, it’s the last day of 2013 – a year full of events and journeys, tears and joy, emotions and unexpected outcomes.
I’m not gonna have a big party but I wanted to prepare something I had never done before. Generally, I am no big fan of sparkling wines or of anything else fizzy, as a matter of fact. I like my alcohol strong and aged and champagne is just a little too ostentatious for me. However, lately I have been experimenting with various types of alcohol when baking, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try my hand at sparkling wine as well. So found a really simple recipe for champagne cupcakes here and then modified it with some blueberry jam to give it some twits. You may leave the blueberry jam out if you don’t like it, or, alternatively, substitute it with strawberry jam if you prefer.

I put more blueberry jam on top to finish the decoration

Do you see the blueberries peeking shyly from inside the cupcake? Mmmm....

The cupcakes turned out so moist, wonderfully sweet and tasting of champagne and cream – a perfect combination for the New Year’s Eve. They are really easy to make and the whole process from measuring the ingredients to finishing the frosting takes about an hour and a half if you’re efficient. So, here is the recipe.

Champagne Cupcakes with a Blueberry Twist

You need:

For the cupcakes:
½ cup (113 gr) butter, softened

1 cup (200 gr) sugar
2 egs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract / 2 powdered vanilla essences
1 ¾ cup flour, sifted
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup + 2 tbsp champagne / sparkling wine
2 tbsp blueberry jam (optional)

For the frosting:
½ cup (113 gr) butter, softened
1 ½ cup (200 gr) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup champagne / sparkling wine
2 tbsp cooking cream
Blueberry jam (optional)

You do:
1.      Preheat oven to 170oC and line a muffin tray with paper cupcake holders.
2.      In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
3.      In  a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer, add the sugar and beat until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.      In a small bowl, mix carefully the champagne and sour cream.
5.      Add half of the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture, beat until incorporated, then add the champagne mixture and the rest of the flour mixture.
6.      (optional!) I coloured about ½ cup of the batter with 2 tbsp blueberry jam and used it to make a second layer on some of the cupcakes. The blueberries go with the champagne nicely. Mind you, if you do not use any artificial colouring, the blueberry batter will be a little strange in colour, something like green-grey-violet. No worries, the taste is still wonderful!
7.      Fill 2/3 of each paper cupcake holder and bake for 20-25 min or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Leave them to cool completely before frosting.
8.      While the cupcakes are baking, make the buttercream. Pour the champagne in a casserole; boil until reduced to 2 tbsp and leave aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream the butter for 3-4 minutes, then add the sugar and beat for 5-6 more minutes. Add the cooled champagne, vanilla and cooking cream and beat for 3-4 more minutes.
9.      Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes using a piping nozzles and your imagination. J If desired, decorate with more blueberry jam and sprinkles.

Enjoy on your New Year’s Eve party with champagne! Happy New Year!

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