Friday, October 28, 2011

Chianti Chocolate Cupcakes


I've always had the opinion that red wine and chocolate were made for each other, so when I happened upon a recipe for chocolate red-wine cupcakes, all my other baking plans flew out the window. Now, I'm no wine connoisseur, but I do have a favorite red.  I keep a bottle of Chianti squirreled away in my wine cabinet for special occasions.  I couldn't wait to see how it tasted in cake form.

The red wine flavor in the chocolate cake is subtle, so I felt punching up the Chianti taste with frosting was an absolute necessity.  I made a simple confectioners' icing with a wine reduction and finished it with a few tablespoons of Chianti strait from the bottle.  I've made these twice; once as full size cupcakes and once (shown here) as minis.  I loved the minis, and could imagine them lined up on a fancy platter for the perfect sweet bite at a cocktail party.


I used tiny Bunchins table grapes as a cupcake garnish (remember them from this post?).  I like the added freshness in both flavor and appearance.  If you can't find this tiny variety of grape, an average-size grape can be halved and perched on top.


Chianti Chocolate Cupcakes
Cake portion adapted from Silvana Nardon's recipe                                               [click for printable version]
Makes about a dozen cupcakes or 2.5-3 dozen mini cupcakes

Cake:
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. dark chocolate (72%) broken into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
1 stick butter, softened
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 Chianti red wine

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in cupcake pan cavities.

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 thoroughly combined.

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 for regular size cupcakes - 10-12 for minis.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

*Note:  These cupcakes have a flat top when baked, so don't expect a nice rounded top.  That said, they are very moist and tender.  Don't let the flat tops fool you!

Frosting:

1 cup Chianti wine plus 4 tablespoons, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of butter, softened (not room temperature, butter should still be a little cold)
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Small seedless red grapes for garnish

1. Place 1 cup Chianti and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, and simmer until mixture is reduced to scant 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 Chianti 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 Chianti one  tablespoon at a time until thoroughly mixed.  Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large french decorator tip.  Frost cupcakes and garnish with grapes.




63 comments:

Paula said...

These look lovely and what a great idea to use a red wine reduction in the frosting to boost the cupcake flavour. Very pretty.

Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) said...

Yes! Red wine and chocolate. Yes...chianti chocolate cupcakes. You have me sold.

Emily said...

these cupcakes are gorgeous! i love them and i love your blog! :*

Anonymous said...

Fab! I do a similar version with Port Wine, and I recently purchased Pinot Noir salt, and wanted to do a chocolate Pinot Noir cake with some type of salted buttercream utlizing the salt. This gives me all sorts of ideas now...

Yosa said...

Hmm, sounds WONDERFUL!

I am curious if other alcohol would work in a similar way- rum chocolate cupcakes for example...

SprinkleBakes said...

Oooh, port wine sounds amazing!

Hi Yosa! I'm not sure. I tried peach schnapps in a vanilla cupcake once, but most of the flavor baked out of it because of the high alcohol content.

Leah from Sweet and Sour Showers said...

This is such a cute idea and what beautiful pictures! This would be so cool for a wine tasting party.

A Spoonful of Yumm said...

great idea , the cupcakes look so cute

jenna said...

like always stunning! these sound so original and yummy. that frosting looks to die for! lovely!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lovely cupcakes! Very original and so pretty.

Cheers,

Rosa

nicole {sweet peony} said...

so so so beautiful! i'm in love! can't wait to try these :)

Alicia said...

I never have red wine! I'm partial to Pinot Grigio so that is usually what I have available. I'll have to find a friend with red wine and try making these. The sound of the red wine reduction...YUM. I can see just using the reduction over vanilla ice cream! Great Idea!

Zippy said...

Mmm, these look amazing and beautiful. I can't wait to try them!

EliFla said...

simply gorgeous.... have a wonderful weekend, hugs Flavia

overtimecook.com said...

Wow Heather- those are beautiful! And the asset must be divine. I'm bookmarking this recipe for the next time I need a sophisticated dessert to impress with!

Erin said...

I don't think a cupcake recipe could get any better.

Ellen said...

I made these for our blog and I highly recommend using port as well.

http://bakeitwithbooze.blogspot.com/2011/09/chocolate-and-port-cupcakes.html

Enjoy!

Erin said...

I absolutely love Chianti! These cupcakes sound so deliciously over the top. Perfect for a fancy dinner party, or a Tuesday afternoon!

linda said...

i am so excited to recreate these chianti cupcakes!
we love red wines...
your art nouveau silver platter is stunning ...as are your cupcakes!,

Kim said...

You are so right, wine and chocolate really do have some taste in common. I really love these little cupcakes, they look really yummy!

Jaq (i sugar coat it) said...

Delectable! Red wine and chocolate are certainly a heavenly match. I'll have to try the frosting recipe some time. As always, your photos are stunning!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful cupcakes, photo and recipe! I am so anxious to try these! You are so talented and creative!

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

These are perfectly pink and I can only imagine the flavor! Sounds delicious :)

Agnese said...

oh my good they look so faboulus!!! I'm italian and I have to bake them!! ;)

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

I love how the icing looks on these - so pretty! These sound so good :)

Lora said...

I think the minis would be the absolutely perfect dessert nibble on a tray. Fabulous. Love the weeny grapes.

warmvanillasugar said...

These cupcakes are so pretty. Love your photos!

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

Oh my these look amazing!!!! I especially love the frosting!!!! I agree, chocolate and red wine go really well together.

Sue/the view from great island said...

I just discovered your blog and I love it. These cupcakes are so unusual and elegant, the color is just phenomenal. Your photographs are wonderful, magazine quality!

SingerFood e Chiccherie said...

Beautiful cupcakes!!!

CIAO!!!

Francesca (www.singerfood.com)

Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

Wow. Gorgeous cupcakes and lovely shot! This recipe sounds fantastic!

Emily said...

OK, I LOVE this idea! Making these at the weekend I think. Thanks - fab idea!

Kathy Howe said...

My two great loves...chocolate and wine! I have to try these cupcakes.

Lili said...

Such a festive and elegant creation. Oh I bet they are bursting with flavor. Love those tiny bunchins! xo ~Lili

Sue said...

You are quite the creative baker, Heather! Love the grapes as the decoration:)

Yummy Mummy said...

Wow this sounds amazing. We have a cupcake shop in Santa Barbara wine country called Enjoy that makes the most delicious wine cupcakes. You must go there if you're ever in the area.

Karyn - Pint Sized Baker said...

Looks divine! Sounds Wonderful! Beautiful presentation as always!

Rachel @ The Avid Appetite said...

these are absolutely and fantastically beautiful! I adore this idea for a wine cocktail party. So gorgeous. I also love those little grapes...they make the whole presentation!

'Le ricette dell'Amore Vero' di Claudia Annie said...

complimenti, il tuo blog è meraviglioso! lo aggiungo subito al mio elenco visibile! se ti va vieni a trovarmi! un bacio!

Nic@diningwithastud said...

What a fab idea! And combining wine and dessert is a totaly time saver ;)

Angie said...

These look so yummy! I just started following you found you through confessions of a cookbook queen, who I love! Can't wait to check out your older posts!

Priyanka said...

They look so tempting.
Lovely photographs :)

Kayleigh said...

I just recently found your blog (via Pinterest)... you are AMAZING!!! :)

Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking said...

Heather, love the grapes! What a beautiful touch!
I'm wondering how many of these cupcakes it would take to make me tipsy if it only takes me one glass of wine. ;-)
I'll have to eat dinner first.

Shelli said...

These look great! Can't wait to try this recipe!

Trish - Sweetology101 said...

utterly amazing.

Taylor said...

I love this post. I'm currently in a long distance relationship, but I'll be seeing my boyfriend in a few weeks. I love making big dinners for him, and this will certainly be dessert. I don't like icing much, so I think I'll top it with you Red wine ganache you posted a while back.

blonde said...

Your blog is fantastic! One of the best places to eat in New York has a similar cupcake and it is outrageous! Now, I can try and make it for myself. THANK YOU!

Haniela said...

oh my, these do look amazing, I'd love to try these flavors, so inviting.

hạt mêthi said...

What a fab idea! And combining wine and dessert is a totaly time saver ;))

Robin said...

so freakin' delectable! sheesh. My taste buds are intrigued. I'd love to bake these cupcakes for Thanksgiving. Can (any of) it be done ahead of time or is this strictly a "make and serve the same day" sorta treat? If the latter is what I'm facing, I'm up to the challenge. I just need to ask. :)

Megan said...

Robin...I'm actually making these now for Thanksgiving. I'm hoping the answer to your question is YES!!! otherwise I'm going to be eating cupcakes for the next couple days....LOTS.OF.CUPCAKES!! Just to warn you though....I just put the batter into the pan and it almost seems like the recipe was halfed. It says it makes 24 cupcakes, but I only got 12 out of them. I only filled the pan halfway as noted in the recipe too...

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Robin! Yes! The cakes can be made ahead of time. Just make sure they are well covered until ready for frosting.

Megan, thank you for the info! The recipe was halved. My mistake for typing two dozen - I must have transferred that over from the original recipe. I'm correcting this now.

Robin said...

Recipe correction noted. Thanks for pointing it out, Megan! I can't wait to try these. I'll be baking mine tomorrow. :D

Heather said...

These are just so cute! I'm not much of a baker but I really want to give these a try! They're so unique and I love the mini grapes on top.

delacasa said...

I have just made these and they were a total hit. The cupcake turned out fine, but on reading over the recipe again I am confused.. In NZ we don't use sticks of butter, so I went with ounces. You say 1 stick is 8 oz but my research tells me its 4! I used 8 and it was okay but it did seem like a lot!

Anonymous said...

Just made these with port and they are DIVINE! My new go-to cupcake recipe.

Doy said...

Tried twice. Alcohol keeps curdling the butter. Pretty Gross. Thoughts?

Trisha said...

DIY...I had the same problem. They turned out to sweet as well...probably did something wrong.

culinarydilettante said...

I made these last week for a friend's birthday and they were the best cupcakes I have ever made. I did a dozen minis and ten regular sized and they were both amazing, even several days later. Thanks for a great recipe!

Carol said...

Hi, I love this cupcake! I already made it a couple of times! I just have a doubt when you say 1 stick of butter is 4oz? Or 2 sticks? Thanks so much for your blog! It's perfect!!!

Anonymous said...

I am echoing Carol: 1 stick = 4 oz, NOT 8 oz! Please, how much is needed for the cupcake??

Heather Baird said...

4 oz/113g is the correct amount. 8 oz was a typo.

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