Friday, December 31, 2010

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Happy New years eve! warning, this recipe is not gluten free. It was made for a party where there was no food allergies.

Today I set out to make those cupcakes that were shown on Oprah, by the DC Cupcake girls. Well... I guess everyone saw that show. 2 days of searching and 6 grocery stores later, my husband found some fresh strawberries for me. At each place, the produce person was very familiar with why the strawberries were sold out. I honestly have not watched a single episode of Oprah this season. I just haven't had time... UNTIL just the other day. It was after Christmas and I spent the day being lazy. My kids are out of town, so why not. Course it happened to be a show on things to serve for New Years. This recipe looked great. It is not Gluten-free. However I could easily make it that way. My daughter is out of town and I am cooking for 16 people. So I am going with the easy gluten route. Sorry, if you want them gluten free all you have to do is use your favorite gluten-free flour blend instead of regular all purpose flour and add 1tsp of xanthan gum. This is the recipe given on Oprah.com, but I changed mine just a tad. With a little of my banter thrown in between. Note: They said this makes 36 mini cupcakes enough for 12 flutes. But I found I had 48 mini cupcakes with some still left over. So if you need more than 12, don't worry.


Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes (36 mini cupcakes, 3 per Champagne flute)

1/2 cup fresh strawberries , diced
1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
2 1/2 cups flour , sifted
1/2 tsp. baking powder , sifted
1/4 Tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs , at room temperature
2 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk , at room temperature

Champagne Buttercream Frosting
16 Tbsp. (8 ounces) unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar , sifted
1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)

Strawberry Layer
24 fresh strawberries
1 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)

Chocolate Ganache
2 cups high-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream

For Serving:

12 glass Champagne flutes

Directions

Step 1: Baking the Mini Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 mini cupcake pans with 36 mini baking cups or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.

Dice up 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries
Wash first of course....

and soak in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Set aside.


Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated.

Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.

Gently fold in the diced Champagne-soaked strawberries, just until incorporated.

Scoop batter into baking cups

 and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. If using paper baking cups, peel off all of the paper baking cups from the cupcakes at this time.


Step 2: Making the Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract, milk, salt and Champagne, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Place frosting in a disposable piping bag with a large round tip.

Step 3: Preparing the Strawberries

Slice 24 strawberries lengthwise and soak in 1 cup of Champagne for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Making the Chocolate Ganache

Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or 2 of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a medium glass bowl over the saucepan and melt the chocolate chips. Stir occasionally until the chips are completely melted. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the saucepan. Pour the ganache into a plastic squeeze bottle. (If a squeeze bottle is not available, you can drizzle with a spoon.)

Step 5: Assembling Layers in Champagne Flutes

Line up 12 glass Champagne flutes. Insert 1 mini strawberry Champagne cupcake in the bottom of each glass. Next, pipe a swirl of Champagne buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake. Add several slices of Champagne-soaked strawberries, and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Repeat layers. Finally, place a third mini strawberry Champagne cupcake at the top of each glass, pipe with a final "Georgetown Cupcake signature swirl" of Champagne buttercream frosting, and top with a final drizzle of chocolate ganache.

I left the final drizzle off. I thought it would make it messy.
Thanks Oprah and DC cupcake company!
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