Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Champagne Cupcakes

by Ann

I've been sick with the awful cold that is being passed around all week.  So sick that I didn't feel like cooking or eating.  The don't-feel-like-cooking happens often, but me not wanting to eat is almost unheard of!  In the early hours of the mornings I found myself running through all sorts of random things in my mind due to my cold-induced inability to sleep. One of the random thoughts was related to what this food-post would be about if I had no pictures nor had made anything worth posting about all week. 

In my sleepless haze I tried to remember what I may have made in the past that was really good, and of which I might pictures in my files.  Prior to blogging I wasn't in the habit of taking pictures of everything that I might need to use later, so the picture part of the equation was the tough part.  Then I thought about my niece Amanda's shower two years ago, which I mentioned last week when referencing the same chicken salad recipe that was served at her sister Megan's shower a week ago.  I had made some simply amazing (could they be sublime?) cupcakes that are definitely a lot of work, but worth it for special occasions.  As with most recipes I found this on the Internet.  I just hunted down the original printout to find the website, and researched it to see if the site exists since my printout was from 2008.  It is live, and the recipe originally came from , a fabulous blog by a talented woman in St. Louis.  I honestly don't think in 2008 I even understood what blogs were, so now will follow this one with a much greater appreciation!

Champagne Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:
3 c cake flour
½ t salt
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 c sugar
1 c butter, softened
½ c + 2 T frozen orange juice concentrate
3 eggs
¾ c plain yogurt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients, and set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, cream butter until smooth; beat in the sugar until smooth; add the orange juice concentrate.
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time.
  5. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time; add yogurt.  Batter will be slightly lumpy, but should be smooth like pancake batter.
  6. Divide into tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Champagne Syrup:
2 c champagne
1 c powdered sugar

  1. Bring champagne and powdered sugar to boil in a saucepan, and simmer until it has reduced by half.  It will still be quite liquidy when done.
  2. Poke holes in the cupcakes and drizzle the syrup into them.  (Yes, this makes a mess, but it makes these treats unbelievable!)

* I’ve made this recipe with and without the champagne flavoring.  There is not that much difference.  The flavoring is hard to find.  I ordered in online.  You don’t really need it.
1 c chilled whipping cream
8 oz mascarpone cheese
2-3 c confectioners’ sugar
8 drops champagne flavoring*
1 T finely grated orange zest

  1. Whip the cream in mixer until soft peaks form.
  2. Fold in mascarpone. 
  3. While whipping over a low speed, add confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, being careful not to over whip.
  4. Add champagne flavoring and orange zest. 
    Cupcakes are best served slightly chilled.
It's hard to say what the "best part" of these cupcakes would be, but if pressed to do so, I'd have to say it's the frosting.  It is unlike any I have ever had.  The mascarpone cheese is the key ingredient.  Looking at this recipe makes me hope for an event worth making these for again to come up soon!
Thanks to my sister's friend Shelley, an amazing photographer
who took these pictures along with dozens more at both of my nieces' showers!

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