Sunday, August 22, 2010

August Cupcakes: Tasting the bubbly

With my sister’s engagement party rapidly approaching it is time to decide exactly what kind of cupcakes I’ll be baking to help commemorate the day. The theme is becoming increasingly fiesta-like as my mom lines up the menu with carnitas, salsas, and Don Julio so I feel obliged to make a Mexican-ish cupcake. But I already did that once this summer, and I wanted so badly to try something new to celebrate. 
All the ladies in my family love a good glass (or bottle) of champagne, and what better way to celebrate an engagement than with a little bubbly? With a little nudging from an fellow crafter I decided to test out one of the exciting recipes from The Boozy Baker, a wonderful cookbook that belongs on the bookshelf of any lush who likes dessert. We adapted the Champange Cake recipe a little to suit cupcakes and switched out the frosting because it is simply to hot to make a buttercream this time of year. All the whipping and folding proved to be a lot of work, but the results were well worth it (not to mention someone had to finish off that bottle of Cook’s…)


Champagne Cupcakes


10 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup champagne
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar together in an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until butter is fluffy. Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, and champagne. Mix well. Move batter to a clean large bowl and wash out the bowl for your mixer. Separate eggs into mixer bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Fill 24 lined cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.


Strawberry Whipped Cream


1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp white sugar
5 strawberries, cleaned and sliced

In a blender on high speed make strawberries into a puree. In a clean mixing bowl beat whipping cream until thick, adding sugar slowly. Add strawberry puree and whip just long enough to incorporate entirely.

I didn't have my piping bags with me because I was baking at a friend's house, so I tried my best to pipe the cupcakes with a ziploc bag. They didn't turn out perfect, but a slice of strawberry on top hid a lot of problems. All in all the cupcakes turned out tasting wonderful. They were light and spongy and had just a little unexpected tang to them. They aren't exactly the ideal food for a fiesta, but they're certainly a contender for next Saturday's dessert.


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