Sunday, February 12, 2012

for the ladies

I have had a crazy start to the new year with lots of traveling!  Starting at Christmas I went to Cincinnati, then Eastern Florida, then New York, down to Miami, Western Michigan, back to Cincinnati, and ended the travels in Tampa.  That was one month.  While my frequent flyer miles were growing, my mixer was getting dusty.  As soon as I had some down time in Chicago I decided to get to work.
Three of my best friends have birthdays in January.  Unfortunately, none of them are in Chicago.  I had all intentions of baking them each a different cupcake and then shipping them out.  Nope.  That didn't exactly happen.  I ended up making one flavor to honor all of them.  I didn't send any, but it is the thought that counts, right??

I made red wine and chocolate cupcakes.  This is fitting because I have had a lot of wine and chocolate with these ladies.  I went to Trader Joe's and picked up a bottle of 2 buck chuck.  I didn't find it necessary to use a nice wine when baking.  
The recipe had quite a lot going on, but I made it work... This wonderful recipe came from

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. dark chocolate broken into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
1 stick butter, room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup red wine

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine cocoa powder and chocolate pieces, whisk in the boiling water until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar.  Beat in the eggs until well blended.  Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix until just combined.  Alternating, add the chocolate mixture and wine, mix until batter is smooth.

4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them about halfway full.  Bake for about 20 minutes.


1 cup wine plus 4 tablespoons, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened (not room temperature, butter should still be a little cold)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1. Place 1 cup wine and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, and simmer until mixture is reduced to just 1/3 cup.  Allow to cool completely

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the softened butter and confectioners' sugar.  Mix on low speed at first, and then on high until mixture is fluffy.  With mixer running, gradually pour in the cooled wine reduction.  Add salt and beat until well combined.  Scrape down the bowl as necessary.

3. Again, with the mixer running, gradually pour in the 4 tablespoons of wine one  tablespoon at a time until thoroughly mixed.  Then ice away (make sure the cupcakes are cool before icing)!
These babies are awesome!  I didn't love the icing alone, but the combo together is great.  You should know there is a lot of wine in these cupcakes.  I didn't even feel bad finishing the bottle.  

I would absolutely reco making these!

So, Happy Birthday! Love you!!!

Birthday Girls: Erin, Alyson, & Stacy


1 comment:

  1. Where is a batter up post!!? Request for an April blog post soon please...maybe celebrating someone's awesome bday?