Hey Hey Hey! Another post another day. Today’s post is all about mini cakes, or cupcakes again; I usually prefer a cupcake because it’s a two or three bite (one bite if your like me and in a rush all the time for no obvious reason so you swallow the whole thing) and it calms down your sweet crave (which yes, I do get every once in a while).
Behind the Scenes: On topic, here’s the why and how I got the idea to make these cupcakes: they were were donated to the hospice right around the corner from where I live in October for Breast Cancer Awareness, this is a cancer that is well known and well fought for, but still takes far too many women every year. My grandmother had Breast Cancer and as a 14 year old you don’t know how to process it, thankfully she has since fully recovered. She’s just a feisty as she was before and even more of an inspiration to me which I didn’t think was possible. So there’s my story.
Helpful Hints & Suggestions: Okay off my soapbox and back to topic: One thing about raspberries, and most berry fruits is that when baking with them remember they have a lot of water, so you must adapt recipes according to the moisture level of whatever ingredients you put it in. Since we pull most of the water out of the raspberry by way of maceration and they are mashed before going in the batter and frosting you already get a good idea of how much wetness there will be and if you feel uncomfortable with the amount (and trust your instincts! They never lead you astray) then get rid of some of the wetness by way of draining.
Extra!!! Extra!!!: Additional things to be aware of is cooling. I know we all want to slather them with frosting immediately, because come on who wouldn’t (besides an insane person and even that scenario is questionable), but you must let the cupcakes cool all the way.
Champagne is subtle so it’s very difficult to get a dominate flavor in anything it’s cooked in. The ingredients in this recipe are very light, but I’ve seen champagne extract in a couple of major supermarkets so if you want a more robust flavor that’s one way to go; another is reducing the champagne on the stove until it’s thickened. This could take upwards of 30 to 50 minutes since you want to do it over medium heat. I would say 1 cup/200 grams of champagne reduced could do the trick.
Alterations: A pink wine or liquor (Moscato for example) could be another flavor combination to try if you don’t want the champagne. The main thing with this recipe is to keep the flavors even so a white wine could be an option, but I would stay away from the hard pungent liquors that would clash with the raspberries such as red wine, rum, bourbon, etc. those liquors are made for recipes with more heavy dominate flavors.
On a side-note: You’ll see I tried for an artisanal look with these cupcakes by route of handmade wrappers. I still haven’t decided if it was a good idea or not, but if you think it was, then the “how to” for it is simple: Take parchment paper and cut it into 5 inch (13 mm) by 5 inch (13 mm) squares, take the square and put it in the cupcake/muffin slot. Push down a bit and put your batter in. The form will be very organic, but if you don’t want organic then screw it, use some nice store bought wrappers! I like to give you guys options.
And remember, make this recipe yours. If you like blueberries or blackberries instead of raspberries then go ahead and try it, the directions and procedures are still the same; although some of the heavier liquors will go fine with those berries. Shaking things up is the spice of life…..as long as it’s legal. Don’t go telling law enforcement The Crowded Kitchen made you do it. 🙂
Champagne Raspberry Cupcakes w/ Raspberry Champagne Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 c. (180 grams) All Purpose Flour
1/4 c. (55 grams) Champagne
1/2 tsp. (2 grams) Baking powder
1/4 tsp. (2 grams) salt
1/2 c. (120 grams) Butter
3/4 c. (150 grams) White Sugar
2 eggs (100 grams)
2/3 c. (165 grams) cold milk
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla paste
1/4 – 1/3 c. (25 – 35 grams) Fresh Raspberries (mashed)
1/2 c. (4 oz.) Cream Cheese
1/4 c. – 1/3 c. Fresh Raspberries (mashed)
2/3 c. (165 grams) Champagne
1 stick of butter (115 grams)
1 – 2 tbsp. (15 – 30 grams) milk
2.5 – 4 c. (250 – 400 grams) Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. (8 grams) fine sea salt
2 medium to large mixing bowls
Ice Cream/Cookie Scooper
1 Cupcake/Muffin tin
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and pre-measure out all ingredients. In two small bowls put in the amount of raspberries the batter and frosting calls for, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of sugar and 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of lemon juice in the bowl with the raspberries, mix and put them in the fridge to macerate. This will pull out most of the moisture of the raspberries. Wait about a hour or two and drain all the pulled out liquids then mash the raspberries. Put it back in the fridge and proceed to make your cupcakes.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large size bowl, cream together with the hand mixer the butter and sugar, add the milk and eggs alternately with the dry ingredients, then by hand with a spoon fold in the raspberries.
- I use an ice cream/cookie scooper so that the cupcakes are all the filled the same, if you don’t have an ice cream/cookie scooper then a kitchen spoon or tablespoon measuring cup will be fine as long as the same amount is in each cupcake tin to ensure even cooking time. 1 scoop for a large ice cream scooper, 2 scoops for a medium size scooper and 3 for a small scooper.
- Bake for 17 – 20 minutes and allow them on a cooling rack; if your using parchment paper the outside may be a bit damp, don’t worry once it cools down it will dry up and this doesn’t alter the taste or texture at all. While they are cooling; proceed to make the frosting.
- In a medium to large size bowl, cream together your cream cheese and butter, followed by your milk. Once all combined, add your powdered sugar. Don’t do this all at once, each time is different to the amount needed to make the frosting texture you want with weather moistness and other external factors, additionally everyone is different to the texture they want, so add until you reach the texture of your preference, but be wary of sweetness so taste often, you can add some salt to even out all flavors.
- After the frosting mixture is ready, put the mashed raspberries into the frosting. Once again do this slowly as this also affects the texture of the frosting. Once all are combined, put the frosting in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Now that your cupcakes are cooled and your frosting is ready, proceed to spread the frosting on the cupcakes and eat to your heart’s content. These honestly taste fresh and amazing, they’re great to bring to a party or a dinner, but if you want to be stingy and save them all for yourself, no one can be mad at you for that either.