Sunday, August 21, 2011

Champagne Almond Cupcakes with Raspberries

The now famous Champagne Almond Cupcakes with Raspberries

The name alone makes me smile.

My friend Sylvia was having her annual Summer BBQ and I wanted to make something spectacular.  So I thought, what better way to properly celebrate any event than with champagne?  And I love cupcakes...hmmmm...what would happen if I combine them?  Sheer genius.

I was pressed for time so I decided to wing it.  Btw I should warn you that this is a common theme--I know baking is a sciencey artform blah blah blah.  But life is short people and who has the time to test 5 different iterations of champagne cupcakes before their big debut?  I prefer to have a general idea of what I want to do, and then I cross my fingers.

I decided to skip some steps and bought a box of Duncan Hines white cake mix.  I substituted the water with champagne, added some almond extract, and gave it a stir.  It was light, airy, a bit bubbly.  But the best thing about the batter (and I am a very experienced fan of batter so I say this with confidence), it wasn't overly sweet.  Too many times when I make box mixes, the dough is so incredibly sweet it makes your teeth hurt.  Not this batter.  It was lovely, even elegant.

But I wasn't sure how it would hold up in the oven.  So I waited with bated breath and tried not to check on them every few minutes.  Luckily they came out perfectly.

I then added some almond extract to a creamy white frosting, gave it a vigorous stir, and gently placed a dollop on top of each one.  I swirled the frosting to a tip in the middle so they resembled a little fluffy cloud.  I then placed two fresh red raspberries on top and voila, the Champagne Almond Cupcake with Raspberries was born.
They disappeared shortly after this picture was taken
But how did they taste and how did people react?  They were a HUGE HIT and the talk of the party! (This may have something to do with the fact that I was running around asking people, "So what do you think of my delicious cupcakes?" "You should totally try the cupcakes, I hear they're to die for.")

My fabulous sister Aulani enjoying the cupcake
with a glass of almond champagne

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