This recipe calls for a whole bottle of wine!! WHOOO! I suggest you use wine you would actually want to drink. I used Chateau Fleur Haut Gaussens Bordeaux Superieur 2008 because I just had it lying around from a recent order of wine I made and wanted to use it up. Any sort of red wine will do, but I’d suggest a Bordeaux or something a bit fruity to compliment the chocolate. There should be a tiny bit of wine left in the bottle for some casual sipping.. just saying…
Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Makes around ~24 cupcakes (I got 2-3 extra which I happily snacked on)
Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups of firmly packed light brown sugar
4 eggs (room temperature is best)
2 cups red wine (generously poured)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Red Wine Buttercream
1 cup red wine (same wine used in cupcake– should mostly empty out your bottle)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 drop of red food coloring (optional)
Preheat your oven to 325°F and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
Beat softened butter at medium speed in an electric mixer until smooth. Add white sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Then add brown sugar, and beat until light and fluffy! (should be around 3-5 minutes)
Add eggs, one at a time, letting each incorporate before dropping in the next one. Then, add vanilla extract. At this time, scrape down the bowl to make sure all ingredients get incorporated.
Mix together dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) in a bowl. Whisk to aerate the mixture and fully incorporate your leaveners.
Pop open your red wine and measure out amount needed (maybe taste it too!) Alternate additions of the dry and wet ingredients. Start with the 1/3 of the dry, and then add 1/2 of the wine, stirring the whole time. Repeat, and then add the last of the dry. Give the bowl a good thorough scrap and then mix until the ingredients are incorporated together and the batter is smooth.
Scoop batter into muffin tins (using an ice cream scoop if you have one) so that tins are 3/4 full.
Bake cupcakes for around 25 minutes, rotating the tray half way in between. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or when the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Place red wine and granulated sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer until reduced down to 1/3 cup. Wine should be syrup-y, but not super gooey.Remove wine mixture from heat, transfer it to a new container and let it cool completely. This can be done the night before or while the cupcakes are baking.
Add the butter to your stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add confectioners sugar, mixing first on low speed (as to not create a mess in your kitchen) and then high speed once all of the confectioners sugar is incorporated. Add salt and beat until fluffy and lovely.
With the mixer on low, carefully add in the wine. You can add in all or some of the wine mixture depending on how your want your buttercream to taste. If your wine is too thick and syrupy, microwave it in 10 seconds bursts to let it liquefy again. Then, add to butter mixture and beat away. If you want your buttercream to be a bit more red, you can add a couple drops of food coloring or coloring paste at this stage.
Once all of the wine is incorporated, mix on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes to make sure wine is fully incorporated and buttercream is light and fluffy.
Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip and frost away!
If you are accurate with your measurements, you should have enough wine left in the bottle for sipping while you bake. According to my math (3 cups=600ml) so you should have a nice 150ml of wine left to enjoy on your own.
Happy Baking! (and drinking!)