Chocolate cupcakes with Strawberry Cabernet Sauvignon Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting.
For my 20th birthday, I wanted to treat myself. I knew I was going to make cupcakes (duh), but I wanted these cupcakes to be the most decadent, to-die-for, adult cupcakes ever.
Chocolate, strawberries, and red wine? I think so!
For the Strawberry Cabernet Sauvignon Filling, you’ll need: 10 medium/large strawberries, 1/2 bottle cab-sav, teaspoon strawberry jam.
I made the strawberry cab-sav filling the day before so it could cool and set up properly. I chopped up about 10 plump, juicy strawbs into little pieces and put them in a saucepan with half a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (where did the other half go? I don’t know what you mean…) and a teaspoon of strawberry preserves. The pectin in the jam helped set up the compote as I reduced the mixture over medium heat and let it stew on low until it thickened up nicely. You wanna aim for a more thick than thin compote, because you don’t want to make your cupcakes soggy! Let cool in a container and refrigerate. I found that tasting it 3 or 4 times was necessary before I put it at the back of the fridge out of sight…
Because of all the crazy birthday festivities, I just went with a Betty Crocker box of dry cake-mix - the Super Moist Devil’s Food Cake (mmm, reminds me of bringing cupcakes in for class in elementary school). Follow the instructions and divvy the mix up into a cupcake tray. I used pink baking cups because it was my birthday. Oh yeah, and because of the pretty reddy-pink filling!
When the cupcakes are baked and cooled, use a sharp knife (or a melon-baller) to carve a little divet, 2-ish cm deep, out of the centre of each cupcake. Discard (or reserve for another night to have with tea). Spoon enough strawberry-cab-sav into the hole until it is level again with the top of the cupcake. Admire. Then eat the remaining strawberry-cab-sav jam.
To make the Cream Cheese Frosting, you’ll need: 2 packages of cream cheese, a half-cup stick of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and approximately 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar.
I employed my strong roommate for this part because I don’t have a stand mixer yet. He mixed 2 packages of softened cream cheese (I think they were 8oz each?) in with a stick of softened butter and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then he sifted (and I made sure he did not neglect to sift…) a cup and a half of confectioner’s sugar into the frosting and stir it in gently so as not to make it all go flying. At this point, you should taste it and add anywhere from another 1/4 cup to 1 cup more of confectioner’s sugar until it’s the right sweetness for you. I think we added a total of 2 cups of sugar.
Then spread, dollop, or pipe the icing onto the cupcakes. I used my new fancy piping back with different tips, but a Ziplock bag with the corner cut off also works! Decorate… Admire once more. Then try not to eat any before you see all your friends for your birthday! Trust me, if I can manage, you can too.
Next up, I’ll be making and evaluating another Martha Stewart cupcake…