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.