I know I have been slacking in the cupcake department, but I got a little sad when my dentist told me to stop eating cupcakes. Pffft, what does she know anyways! So, today I bring you a Valentine's treat that I have been fantasizing over for the past month: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes! I got the idea to make these when we kept neglecting a bottle of Champagne in our fridge. I finally said, "Fine! I'll put them in some cupcakes!" And I did!
I started off my baking by covering some strawberries in chocolate with my hubby. It was a fun way for us to cook and spend time together. So we just melted some white chocolate and some semi-sweet chocolate in a homemade double-broiler (which is just a heat resistant bowl sitting in a pot of boiling water, but not touching the water!). Then we carefully dipped the strawberries in chocolate and drizzled them with the other chocolate with a fork. We let them sit on cookies sheet covered with parchment paper. Easy peasy!
Next comes the cupcakes. I got the recipe from Georgetown Cupcakes (also known as DC Cupcakes if you watch their show on TLC) who made these Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes for New Year's Eve for Oprah. I was really stoked to find a recipe by them because I absolutely adore their shop and their cupcakes are delicious. We frequent their cupcake shop often because it's right by my work. (I truly think Georgetown Cupcake is the only perk to living here.)
Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes:
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 cup good Champagne (the one I had on hand was really dry, but choose whichever champagne you like, sweet or dry)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temp
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Dice up 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries and soak in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
4. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
6. Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
7. Reduce the speed to low. Add a little of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add some of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Continuing alternating the addition of the flour and milk until all the ingredients are included. (Always start and end with the dry ingredients!)
8. Gently fold in the diced Champagne-soaked strawberries, just until incorporated.
9. Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Since I really wanted to capture the chocolate covered strawberry aspect in this cupcake, I chose to do two different chocolate butter creme frostings that match my chocolate covered strawberries that I made earlier. I followed this recipe that I posted a few weeks ago and made a white chocolate and a semi sweet chocolate butter creme frosting.
Once my cupcakes were cooled, I covered 12 with the chocolate frosting and 12 with the white chocolate frosting. Then to make it look pretty I topped with opposite covered strawberries. They were so pretty I didn't even want to eat them... But I did! And they were DELICIOUS.
Now, go make these for your sweetie! Just because Valentine's Day is over doesn't mean you have to stop treating your loved ones to yummy baked goods! <3