Culinary Delight: Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes

I tackled these little ditties a few days ago and they came out absolutely delicious. I was inspired by a desire for chocolate and some leftover Cabernet Sauvignon and the results were fabulous. I do have to say that from start to finish, they take quite a bit of time; I started macerating the blackberries at 4.30pm and did not finish until 9.30 pm! I made miniature cupcakes because they are the perfect size for a decadent pick-me-up at any time of the day.

Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes or  24 miniatures

Preparation:

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F.

Macerated Berry Mixture

  • 3 cups blackberries
  • ½ cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Instructions: 

1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove mixture from refrigerator and place in a blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes to puree.

Cupcake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup macerated blackberry mixture

Instructions:

1. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a blow and mix thoroughly to combine.

2. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Make sure to add the butter slowly so that it does not cook the eggs.

3. Add the butter and egg mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the blackberry mixture. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour.

4. Divide it evenly among the lined cups (I just used cooking spray for the miniatures). Bake 18-22 minutes for the regular size or 10-14 minutes for the miniatures, just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

TIP: For light tender cupcakes, spoon flour and cocoa lightly into measuring cups (instead of dipping the cups into the flour or cocoa) and then sweep the measures level without tapping or shaking them.

Blackberry Cabernet Buttercream

• 5 large egg whites
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and softened
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup macerated blackberry mixture

Instructions:

1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150°F while whisking constantly.

2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume (about 10 minutes).

3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add blackberry mixture and mix to combine.

Frost the cupcakes once cooled. I used a pastry bag fitted with a small tip or you can cut a corner off of a ziplock bag.  I topped the cupcakes with the leftover macerated blackberry mixture and put Dark Chocolate Power Berries (from Trader Joe’s) right on the top.  Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator, as the buttercream will melt if left out. I brought some of these to a picnic where everyone enjoyed them and I hope you do too!

Recipe adapted from:
http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/blackberry-cabernet-cupcakes/ and http://sydneyskitchen.tv/2011/08/04/mini-blackberry-cabernet-cupcakes/
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