Feb 19, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cabernet Cupcakes

This recipe required a lot of experimentation and tasting at every stage. It was too sweet at first, so I added more wine flour, more cabernet and regular cocoa powder until the batter was rich and dark. Then I added a handful of mini-morsels just to be sure. The Cabernet wine flour and cocoa powder are the coolest things ever – they are non-alcoholic, but pack all the health benefits of red wine into whatever you’re baking. They also make great gifts and can be found here: http://www.marchenoirfoods.com/

Dark Chocolate Cabernet Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen

* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I mixed in a few Tb of the Cabernet cocoa powder)
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I mixed in 1/2 cup wine flour with the regular flour)
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4 cup warm water
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* ½ cup semi-sweet mini morsels

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, then the semi-sweet mini morsels; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
2. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Chocoholic Frosting

1/3 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate, mini-morsels (Nestles)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 Tsp Cabernet Cocoa Powder
4 Tb brandy
5 tablespoons milk (or 3 Tb buttermilk, and 2 Tb regular)

In small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in mini-morsels until melted.
Add salt and vanilla.
Gradually beat in confectioner's sugar and milk until creamy and fluffy. The longer you beat it, the creamier it gets. Then put in the Cabernet cocoa powder and brandy to taste.
Makes enough to fill and frost 2 layers of cake (about 2 1/4 cups of frosting).
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