Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday, now onto one of my favorite "party" holidays of the year. We usually try to get a group of our fabulous friends together to celebrate with us.  

My favorite New Year’s Party would entail of having friends over with a few beautiful and delicious trays of hors d'oeuvres, sweets and a few glasses of champagne. Maybe fireworks...but of course sparklers. I have no idea why those small sparkling sticks make me so happy. 

One of my favorite desserts to make for any occasion has to be cupcakes. Perfectly sized, individual cakes with lots of flavor and a smidgen of pizzazz make for a perfect ending to any meal. 

I favor sweeter wines and champagne, so I searched for a recipe that would work with one of my favorites, Prosecco. I found a Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes Recipe by Sprinkles Bakes, which is a very popular blog, so I knew they would be scrumptious! The recipe calls for champagne every step of the way and fortunately, I was able to enjoy a glass while I was making them and still have enough for the recipe. Perfect!

Champagne Cake (15 -17 cupcakes)

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 or prosecco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Batter will be thick.
Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17-22 minutes.  Set aside.

Champagne Pastry Creme Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup champagne or prosecco
2 tbsp cornstarch
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar and 1/2 cup champagne in a saucepan; bring to a boil then remove from heat.
Beat the whole egg and egg yolks into the cornstarch/heavy cream mixture.  Pour 1/3 of boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook.  Return the remaining champagne/heavy cream mixture to a boil.  Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
Cut a divot into the top of each cupcake and fill with pastry cream.  Trim the cut-out cake pieces flat to make a “lid” and place on top of the filled divot.

Champagne Frosting

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne or prosecco
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together.  Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus  1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.

Frost the cupcakes. You can use a pastry bag with a star tip or be creative and do your own things. Add the sparklers right before you serve the cupcakes.  

Recipes by Sprinkle Bakes

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