It's Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, and Pancake Day! Yay! So that means we get to eat like pigs and stuff ourselves silly so we have enough fat storage to last through the next 40 days until Easter. OK, so maybe that's not quite how it's supposed to be and certainly misses the point of Lent. Lent is supposed to be a season of abstinence to bring ourselves closer to God by understanding that Jesus suffered in his 40 days in the desert. Or something like that.
Anyhow, Laurie over at Quirky Cupcake, lovely lady, lovely blog, this month chose liquor as the theme for this month's Cupcake Hero. She's being helped out this month by the also lovely Tempered Woman. Because February has the oh so fantastic made up holiday that pressures couples to prove how much they love each other and makes single women feel inept. Yes, I'm talking about Valentine's Day. It's kind of fitting it falls right smack dab in lent.
For my liquor cupcake contribution, I went with the drink I go to most. The drink that Renee Zellweger chugged while lip-syncing "All By Myself" at the begining of Bridget Jones' Diary. The drink that my friend T used to sip while sitting in her Jacuzzi bathtub while avoiding her husband. I'm beginning to think it's the drink of women everywhere. It's red red wine. Just like the song.
I based this cupcake on my favorite flavor of ice cream. Well sorbet really. Ciao Bella's Blackberry Cabernet sorbet. Super yummy. I found a recipe, that I seriously tweaked for a German Rotweinkuchen (red wine cake). I also had on hand a 4 pack, ok 2 left from a 4 pack of Funky Llama cabernet little bottles. I happened to run across some beautiful (and cheap) blackberries at Trader Joes when my friend S was in town. It was like these beautiful little cupcakes were meant to be. The cupcakes really turned out delicious. Plus by the second day, the red wine flavor came through better.
Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder
125 mL (1/2 cup) cabernet sauvignon + 2 Tbsp
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mix butter sugar and eggs until smooth and creamy; add the vanilla and mix well.
In a small bowl, mix baking powder and flour; add to creamed mixture.
Add red wine and mix well, but be carefull not to overmix. Add cocoa powder.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool completely on wire racks.
Brush all of the cupcakes with cabernet. (Uses about 2 Tbsp total)
1 cup blackberries
about 1/2 cup Cabernet
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
Place blackberries and cabernet in small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce until blackberries mash easily and wine is syrupy. Strain, pressing on seeds to extract all the liquid. Blackberry Cabernet sauce should equal a little less than a quarter cup.
Beat butter in mixer until creamy. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk until a semi thick spreading consistency is reached. Add Blackberry Cabernet sauce. The frosting should be a little on the soft side.
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with the Blackberry Cabernet frosting. Place one firm blackberry in the center of each cupcake. Sift some Hershey Special Dark cocoa onto the cupcakes.