Sunday, February 13, 2011

Champagne and Strawberry Cupcakes

I love all holidays except Valentine's Day. Seriously Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick's, 4th of July: Bring it on! But I am just not a Valentine's Day person. While I understand the history of the holiday, I don't think a holiday that makes people who are usually-fine-happy-fun-loving single folks feel bad about their single status is a holiday worth celebrating. What do I love about Valentine's Day: all of the crazy awesome appropriately pink/red food you can make.
Yesterday's arty adventure at You Do the Dishes was a pre-Valentines celebration with the girls. I of course made cupcakes. Champagne and strawberry cupcakes to be precise. I had previously made plain champagne cupcakes filled with champagne mousse and topped with champagne butter cream a while back (it was before the blog), but they were kind of a fail. They were cloyingly sweet and almost made my teeth hurt. For our girl's night I wanted to try champagne cupcakes again. They were definitely a success.
adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne, prosecco or your choice of sparkling wine
1 cup strawberries, diced

1. Pour champagne into a medium sized bowl. Add strawberries and stir to cover all the berries. Let sit together for 20-30 minutes
2. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
4. Add eggs one at a time; scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat well after adding each egg. Add vanilla and mix.  
6. In a bowl, Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
7. Add sour cream to champagne and strawberry mixture and whisk gently to combine.  
8. Add flour and champagne/strawberry mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  The batter will be fairly thick.
9. Fill cupcake papers with a 1/4 cup of batter (I used a medium ice cream scoop)
10. Bake for 17-22 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

You guys this is the second version of this frosting. The first was really an epic failure. This version is better, but despite adding almost a whole pound of powdered sugar it still didn't really hold it's shape when piped. It did set up nicely after a rest though and it was well reviewed by my friends.

adapted from The Curvy Carrot
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
4-6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp champagne, at room temperature
3/4 cup strawberries, diced fine

1. With an electric mixer, beat together approximately three cups of sugar, butter, and salt. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.
2. Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.
3. Place diced strawberries in the center of a paper towel (or an old dish towel). Wrap them up and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. I found this to be a really important step and it really affected the texture of my frosting.
4. Gently fold in the diced strawberries. (I let my frosting rest for about 5 minutes at this point). Check your frosting for texture/flavor and add additional sugar as needed.

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