Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Red Wine and Chocolate Raspberry . . . Cupcakes

I have -- or may not -- have mentioned that we tried out 10 cupcake recipes for our wedding. If I haven't mentioned that yet, let me correct that now: We totally tried out 10 cupcake recipes for our wedding. And I learned that making cupcakes is: a) always delicious, both before and after the baking, and b) a whole lot of fun. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of roughly half of the cupcakes I tried out. Whoops! I did, however, find some pictures of two delicious cupcakes: Sangria Cupcakes and Chocolate Balsamic Raspberry Cupcakes.

Sangria Cupcakes & Chocolate Balsamic Raspberry Cupcakes
Neither of these cupcakes will be featured at the wedding -- but it was a very narrow decision! I loved them both dearly.

The chocolate raspberry balsamic cupcake was my favorite of the two. Slightly tart (that's the balsamic!), yet slightly sweet. My love of this cupcake is particularly remarkable because I actually generally strongly dislike chocolate in baked goods. I changed the recipe slightly, using real milk rather than soy milk, skipping the almond flour, and substituting olive oil for the canola oil. Also, since we didn't have cocoa powder on hand (note aforementioned dislike of chocolate), I substituted a slightly larger proportion of Trader Joe's drinking chocolate. Not hot chocolate, mind you. The resulting batter cupcake was mildly to moderately chocolatey, with lots of complexity. This really is a stupendous and unusual cupcake recipe. You MUST, must, must try it!

Ease: 7.75
Taste: 9.75
Comfort: 8

The sangria cupcake was a huge hit with our sweetness-loving friends. We couldn't find glazed fruits at our local grocery store, so I chopped up bourbon-soaked cherries instead. DELICIOUS! I also used Loudoun Valley Vineyards (my favorite winery) Route 9 Red for the wine in this recipe. Route 9 Red is 100% Chambourcin, a grape which is well known for its fruitiness/foxiness. I recommend, should you make these cupcakes (hint: you should make them) that you use Chambourcin or another red known for fruitiness. Just fantastic.

Ease: 8.5
Taste: 9.25
Comfort: 7.75

Sangria Cupcakes & Chocolate Balsamic Raspberry Cupcakes

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