VALENTINE CUPCAKES WITH A KICK

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I am by no means a whiz in the kitchen, but I do enjoy baking, especially when it is a treat for someone special. In honor of Valentine’s Day (a holiday I typically don’t make a fuss over), I propose a truly yummy frosting made with wine, a perfect companion to any chocolate cupcake. Two of my favorite things in one bite!

RED WINE-BLACKBERRY FROSTING
Original proportions for the frosting adapted from this recipe, but I had fun adding my own touch.

Ingredients:
1 cup red wine (I used our Cabernet Franc-Merlot Bordeaux style red blend)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
About 15 blackberries or so (3-4 tsp of juice)
2 sticks butter, softened, but not completely warm
3 cups confectionery sugar
A pinch or two of salt

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-3Directions:
In a medium saucepan, combine wine and granulated sugar over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until reduced to about 1/3 of a cup, stirring occasionally.
IMPORTANT: Cool wine reduction in the fridge completely before continuing.

Place blackberries in a small sieve over a bowl and crush to juice using a bar muddler if you have one handy, otherwise, use your imagination (I used the bottom side of a 1/4 cup measuring cup). The sieve will catch all the seeds, while allowing the juice to drip through. Leave at room temperature.

As an added bonus for the baker, juice some extra blackberries and set aside for a fresh cocktail mixer: add to Prosecco for a daytime treat, or use it to replace the cranberry juice in a Cosmo.

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Once wine reduction is chilled and butter is soft, cream the butter in a stand up mixer until white (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the confectionery sugar until completely combined. While mixer is still running, pour in chilled wine reduction, add salt, and beat until well combined. Add the blackberry juice a teaspoon at time until thoroughly mixed… and let the icing begin!

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For the cupcakes, you can choose your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. I used the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe found here, omitted the ganache, and added a dash of Chinese Five-Spice to really up the pairing with the frosting.

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Cheers to wine in your sweets,
JM

If you are opting to cook at home this Valentine’s Day we have a special food and wine pairing coming your way for the perfect dine-in dinner. Be on the lookout!

 

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