When you think of Valentine’s Day, what comes to mind? Love, romance, Cupid…<snore>, let’s get a little more tangible, people. How about roses? Chocolate covered strawberries? Champagne, maybe? What if you were to combine all of those elements into one perfect edible little package…in the form of a mini cupcake? A delicate champagne cake, topped with a rich, rose-scented buttercream, garnished with a white chocolate drizzled strawberry slice. One, maybe two bites if you’re being polite, the interplay between these subtle, yet distinct flavors delivers one lovely treat.
As always, I’m a scourer of recipes, so this is a combination/adaptation. Many thanks to Gimme Some Oven (how great is that name?) for the cake recipe and the peeps at epicurious for the fabulously pipeable buttercream frosting base. Enjoy!
For the Champagne Cupcakes:
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup champagne
- 3 egg whites
For the Buttercream Frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon rose water (found at specialty food stores and your local middle eastern market)
- 1 drop red food coloring (optional, though festive)
To Make The Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a mini cupcake pan with liners.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.
- In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. You should be able to hold the bowl above your head and nothing should move.
- Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
To make the frosting:
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, sifted powdered sugar, salt, milk, and rose water until smooth. Mix in food coloring if using.
For your strawberries:
- Wash, hull, and slice your berries into ~4-5 slices per berry. If making minicupcakes, smaller strawberries seem to make a more proportionate garnish.
- Lightly dry berries by using paper towel to remove excess moisture and place berry slices on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Temper your melting chocolate and use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over berries (obviously, there is some room for improvement in my drizzling technique!). Allow to dry. Garnish your cupcakes and share the love!