Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Year's Eve Cupcakes

This was a tradition I started in 2011 when I was in Florida visiting my mom's best friend, Michelle. We were meandering around a book store and opened a cupcake book only to find these.
Okay, they might have been a lot prettier in the book. But my god are they tasty. They're definitely the favorite thing that I bake.

What you'll need:
for the cupcakes

  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • ½ cup good champagne (sweet rose champagne suggested)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style recommended)
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk, at room temperature

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two mini cupcake pans with thirty-six mini baking cups, or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.
  2. Soak the fresh strawberries in the champagne.  Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
  4. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer.  Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. 
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  6. Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
  7. 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 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 mix slowly until just combined.
  8. Drain the strawberries of excess champagne, and gently fold the strawberries into the batter, just until incorporated.  If you are of age, the remaining champagne is a sweet treat!
  9. 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 the paper baking cups once the cupcakes are cool.
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (European style recommended)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good champagne (sweet rose champagne suggested)
  1. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer.  Add the confectioners’ sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
  2. 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.

24 fresh strawberries
1 cup good champagne (sweet rose champagne suggested)
  1. To prepare the strawberries, slice the strawberries lengthwise and soak in the champagne for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Note that these strawberries should be larger slices than the ones used in the cupcakes.
2 cups high-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two 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.)
To assemble: 
I'll have some pictures along the way. My mom played photographer while I was making a mess.

12 glass champagne flutes
12 indoor-safe sparkler candles
12 long spoons

  1. Line up 12 glass champagne flutes.  Insert one 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.
  2. Insert one indoor-safe sparkler candle in the top of each glass.  Light the candles at midnight, serve with spoons, and enjoy!

 From "The Cupcake Diaries" book

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