Wednesday, 25 September 2013

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things!

Wow its been a CRAZY few weeks. Tons of deadlines at work, a horrible bug that knocked me down harder than a taxi on Jan Smuts (for the foreigners...think bus on a free way), my birthday (YAY!) and then a trip to Cape Town for work followed by a long weekend of fun, food and whale watching!

We had so much great food in Cape Town, I've decided to write a few posts on some of it. Cape Town really is an amazing city! But more of that to come...

Time for the Birthday fun. More specifically: MY birthday! I'm one of those people who LOVES birthdays. As a Spring baby, I spent my childhood being told: "When the blossoms are on the trees then its nearly your birthday!". To this day, as soon as I see blossoms start appearing on the trees, I start getting excited.

This year I decided to celebrate my birthday with a few of my favourite things: wine and chocolate. Oh yes! This is happening! Wine and chocolate cupcakes!

Brace yourself, these are not for the faint hearted. They do go perfectly with a glass of wine though! There is wine in both the cupcake and the icing and nice chunks of dark chocolate in the cupcake as well. Can you see it?

I adapted the recipe from how sweet it is to allow for measurement in grams. I also used a Pinotage instead of Merlot. The Diemersfontein Coffee Pinotage just seemed perfect for these cupcakes. And it was! Although I stuck with the original red wine buttercream, these would also go really well with a cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Pinotage Cupcakes
(makes 12-14)
140g flour
30g cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
170g sugar
60ml vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
115g unsalted butter, melted
180ml milk
2 tbsp red wine (I used Diemersfontein Pinotage)
230g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C. Line a cupcake pan with liners
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Whisk egg, oil and sugar together until smooth.
  4. Add melted butter, merlot and vanilla. Mix until just combined.
  5. Add half the dry ingredients, stirring to combine.
  6. Add the milk and then the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.
  7. Fold in the chocolate.
  8. Use a 1/4 cup measure to fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  10. Give in to temptation and eat one fresh out the oven. Melted dark chocolate pieces and hot cupcake...heaven!
Red Wine Buttercream
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
280g icing sugar
6 tbsp red wine
1 tsp vanilla extract
melted chocolate to drizzle on top
  1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, almost similar to mayonnaise in consistency.
  2. Add the icing sugar in gradually, about half a cup at a time. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and red wine, beat for 6 minutes on medium-high speed.
  4. Ice cupcakes and enjoy!
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