Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Magnificent Merlot Cupcakes

What are my two favorite foodie delights? Why that would be wine and cupcakes, of course. Now these two treats pair well when one is in a cup and the other on the plate, but do they play nice when the temperature is turned up in the oven?

I decided to experiment. I found a cheap Merlot (because a lot of flavor bakes off, so you shouldn't pull out the big expensive guns), and tried it out with some chocolate cake-y-goodness! Then I blended a cream cheese frosting with a few shots of port (one for the cake one down the hatch, one for the cake one down the hatch)! Though neither taste distinctly like wine or port, the whole cupcake has a very unique and subtle flavor on its own. But you shouldn't take my word for it, you should make your own!

Magnificent Merlot Cupcakes
(Serves 20 -24)

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted softened butter2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs1/2 cup sour cream
12 oz. Merlot wine (about half the bottle)

Cupcake Directions:
1) Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
2) Line cupcake tins with paper liners
3) In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
4) In a bowl or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy.
5) Add sour cream and beat in.
6) With the mixer running slowly, pour in the Merlot.7) Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and slowly stir until it is evenly mixed. Be sure to scrape down the sides so everything is mixed in.
8) Divide the batter up into cupcake liners.
9) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Port Berry Cream Cheese Frosting

Frosting Ingredients:
1 8 oz. bar of cream cheese, softened
1 4 oz. stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2-3 tbsp of port (start with two and then check consistency)
1 tsp of berry extract (I recommend raspberry)
20-24 raspberries for garnish

Frosting Directions:
1) Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, put cream cheese, butter, and sugar into the bowl and beat until fully. Slowly drizzle in the port. You may be tempted to add more port, but don't because the frosting will become to liquid to stay on your cupcakes.
2) Pipe frosting onto the top of the cupcakes.
3) Garnish with a raspberry and/or a chocolate drizzled decoration.

And eat! These cupcakes of course pair nicely with the left over port and Merlot that didn't go in the cakes themselves. Mmmmm good!

Special thanks to Russell Gearhart Photography for taste testing and of course providing deeeeelicious photography! Russell Gearhart Photography doesn't just photograph cake, in fact they prefer to photograph people. Check them out at: Russell Gearhart Photography

1 comment:

  1. mine turned out great...however i wouldnt bake them as long as suggested.