Sunday, February 10, 2013

Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes

Valentine's Day reminds me of two things (related to food that is) strawberries and champagne.  Until a few months ago a loathed, yes, loathed  strawberries.  Now, I can tolerate them…especially if there is some sort of creamy fruit dip involved.  When it comes to champagne, holy mother of all things delicious, I will take the whole bottle.  I love, LOVE champagne.  I would drink it every day if I could. 

In thinking of what I should make for Valentine's Day this year (I sure as hell wasn't going to make these again…talk about a pain in the arce) I thought I should combine strawberries and champagne…that only make sense you know.  So, I remembered these absolutely delicious cupcakes I made for my blogiversary last year from Sprinkles Bakes. A little tweaking and the addition of strawberry curd and these Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes were born.  

 Let's start with making the cakes.  Add butter and white sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer.
 Whip it up.
 Add the eggs, one at a time.
 Beat in-between additions.
 This is when I thought "this doesn't look right" then I remembered I was making a double batch.
 And then I added two more eggs…that's what it should look like.
 Add vanilla and mix again.
 Then, sift the dry ingredients together starting with the flour.  Yeah, that is the smallest thing I own..you will see where the big one is in a second.  Poor planning  by me.
 Add baking soda.
Baking powder.
Add salt and sift your little heart out. 
 In a separate bowl, add champagne
 And sour cream
 Stir to combine.
 Alternating dry and wet ingredients into the stand mixer, starting and ending with flour.
 And wet…until everything is fully combined.  Be sure to scrape down the sides.
 Once mixed, fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full or by using a muffin scoop.  I love this thing.
 Next, we can get to work on the strawberry curd.  I used frozen strawberries. They were a bit frozen when I added them to the blender so I had to improvise a bit.  I started by "blending" them.  This is what they looked like.
 So I cut up the limes
 And juiced them.
 Then the cupcakes were done.  So I took them out. Perfect.
 Juice.
 Added that to the blender so it had a little more liquid to work with.  
  It worked! 
 Add that to a strainer to strain the juice.  Yeah, this is where my big strainer was.
 Using a rubber spatula, stir, and kind of press the juice through
 It will look kinda like this.
 You will be left with a bunch of pulp and all of the seeds.  Toss em.
 Add sugar
 Corn starch
Strawberry puree/juice
 Eggs and the egg yolks to a medium sauce pan.
 Stir, stir, stir and bring to a boil.  You need to keep stirring so things don't burn and the eggs stay intact with everything else.  Imagine how gross that would be with scrambled eggs in strawberry sauce.  No thanks...
 It will turn lighter pink and get frothy.
 Once it starts to bubble, keep stirring and let it cook for a minute.
 Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl to cool. 
To prevent that gross skin from forming on the top, gently lay and press a piece of plastic wrap.  Cover and place in the refrigerator.
 Then work on the champagne butter cream frosting.  You will need to reduce some champagne.
 Add it to a large sauce pan and place on medium high heat.
 Bubble bubble bubble.
 Let it reduce until you have just a few tablespoons of concentrated champagne.  Set this aside to cool.
 Once the strawberry curd is cooled, place it in a pastry bag or a large plastic zip top bag.
 Make a little hole in each cupcake.  I like to use a large pastry tip.
 Like so.  You can do whatever you want with what you take out…I suggest, eating it.
 Fill each hole with the curd.
 Hello my pretties.
Add softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer. 
 Along with powdered sugar.
 Whip it up until soft and fluffy.
 Add the condensed champagne
 Along with a little fresh champagne from the bottle.
 Whip again until it is very fluffy.
 This frosting is out of this world.  Give each cupcake a generous amount and that is it!
Cupcakes definitely worthy of a Valentine's Day celebration. 

 I think your honey would really appreciate these….and you, if you made them.


 Oh yeah, and there is a surprise inside.  Slightly tart and perfectly paired with the moist cake and delicious frosting.

Good thing I made a double batch.

Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes 
(single batch, makes about 17 cupcakes)


For the cake: 
1/2 cup (one stick) of butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup champagne
1/2 cup sour cream

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar.  Combine by using the paddle attachment.  Mix until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition.  Scrape the sides and add the vanilla, mix again.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.  Set aside for now.

In a different bowl, combine the sour cream and champagne.  It will bubble and look kind of strange, that is okay.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/2 of the wet, 1/3 of the dry, 1/2 of the wet and the remaining dry until fully combined.

Scoop batter into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.  I like to use the muffin scoop but if you don't have one fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until just turning slightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool.


For the Strawberry Curd: 
(I made a regular batch of this and was left with about twice as much as I needed, it will be great on crepes, waffles etc. but if you want less, just 1/2 this recipe)

4 cups strawberries (frozen is okay)
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of corn starch
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks

Place the strawberries in a blender, and blend away.  Juice the limes over a strainer and pour the juice into the blender.  Blend again.  Pour into a strainer over a large bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, press and stir the strawberry puree until only the seeds and pulp remain.

In a medium sauce pan on medium high heat, add sugar, corn starch, strawberry juice/puree, eggs and egg yolks.  Stir to combine and continue to stir until it starts to bubble.  Once it bubbles, let it cook for one minute.

Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl.  Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and press into the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool.

For the Champagne Butter Cream Frosting:

1 cup + 1 tablespoon champagne
2 sticks of softened butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Add 1 cup of the champagne to a medium sauce pan on medium high heat.  Let simmer and bubble to reduce to about 2 tablespoons.  Once reduced, remove from the heat and let cool.

Add the butter and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Whip until thick and fluffy.  Scrape the sides.

Pour in the reduced champagne and 1 fresh tablespoon from the bottle.  Whip again until fluffy, scraping the sides.


To assemble: 

Once the cupcakes and curd have cooled, take a large pastry tip and press and twist down into the center of each cupcake.  Remove the tip and a small circle of the cake should be removed.  Discard (aka eat the pieces you remove).

Pour the strawberry curd into a large pastry (or zip top) bag and cut the end off.  Pipe a little in each hole of the cupcake.

Spoon the champagne frosting into a separate pastry bag with a tip of your choice.  Pipe on a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake.  Garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Enjoy!

Champagne cake and frosting recipe from the amazingly talented: Sprinkles Bakes
Strawberry curd recipe adapted from: Southern Living






5 comments:

  1. I see the lovely felt hearts found a good use! Hopefully Rem didn't eat any of them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, they sure did Em! I saved a few for crafting with the girls as well! :)

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  2. I made these for my coworker's birthday back in May and they were so delicious! Everyone was in awe. I'm going to make them again for New Year's Eve. Thanks for sharing!

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