Memories of Meals Past: Days of Red Wine And Chocolate (Cupcakes)

Drizzle me this...right into my mouth!

Drizzle me this…right into my mouth!

I was chatting with a friend in Thailand on Skype last night (shout out to Henneth! FYI, check out his awesome paintings on flickr — so gorgeous!), and logged off so I could go write a blog post for Throwback Thursday, or as I call it around here, Memories of Meals Past. But I got distracted by a new e-book from one of my favourite authors and then fell asleep to the purrs of the cat that I’m cat-sitting.

So I here’s the post that I meant to write! I starting writing the post yesterday, really! I wrote the title. And then I downloaded the e-book and then I fell asleep. But starting the post means that I feel that I can sneak in a Memories of Meals Past post under the wire, because…my blog, my rules! (Ah, so liberating!)

[Edit: I wrote the entire post and went to post it on Friday night, just before midnight. Under the wire, yes? And then the internet ate my post. Lots of teeth-gnashing commenced. This is why you’re getting the post on Saturday morning, Canadian-time. It may be a tad late for Throwback Thursday, but I wrote this thing several times tonight, so {redacted} I’m a-gonna post it! *takes deep breath. Eats a cupcake.*] 

And this Memory of Meals Past is about the cupcakes that I sent in to work with the DH last Monday. They were (*takes a deep breath because it’s a mouthful of a name*): Red Wine and Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Ganache. They were tasty! I know because I ate a handful before I sent them in with the DH. Even the DH, who doesn’t like chocolate (hard to believe, but es verdad), liked them!

Want to make some yourself? (Which I highly recommend.) Here’s how:

I started with this recipe for the Red Wine and Chocolate Cupcakes. You can really taste the red wine in the cake once they’re made. While I deviated slightly from the recipe in this case (because of course I had to!), I have made them exactly as the recipe says and they are good. A word of advice though, don’t overbake them. Actually, under-bake them. And then cover every exposed surface in frosting, or you’ll end up with tough, dried cake wherever air touches. I generally under-bake and prefer it that way. But you do what you want!

Then I frosted the cooled cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. Buttercream is easier to make than most people realize, and soooo tasty! Just mix butter, icing sugar, a dollop of vegetable shortening, a dash of vanilla extract, another dash of milk, and you’re good to go! If you’re wondering why I’m not giving you exact amounts, it’s because I generally make it up as I go each time — it’s so easy to customize, and it’s hard to go wrong with sugar and butter. But if you want a little bit more direction, here you go!

Homemade Buttercream Frosting (aka Frosting of the Gods)
  • softened butter
  • icing sugar
  • vegetable shortening
  • vanilla extract
  • milk

Beat your butter and shortening together until fluffy. Add in lots of icing sugar. Taste good? Add in a dash of vanilla extract, and you’re good to go!

  • Too soft? Add in a bunch more icing sugar and/or butter and/or stick the whole thing in the fridge to harden.
  • Too hard? Add in a dollop of milk and/or a dash more shortening. (The shortening is what makes it fluffy; the butter is what makes it tasty!)
I didn’t know until about two years ago that commercial buttercream was so fluffy because of the addition of shortening. I used to ice my cakes and sort of spackle on the buttercream, and wonder why my cakes never had the polish of the ones that I saw in magazines, even if they got lots of compliments on taste. Then came shortening! And voila, fluffiness commenced! But just to show you that there’s no wrong way to frost a cupcake, it turns out that the spackle-like frosting that I used to have, is actually a desired finish: it’s called a “stucco texture“. I was merely ahead of my time — or so I claim!
At any rate, once you’ve iced your cooled cupcakes, then you just drizzle them with ganache. With panache! Or a fork. (<– Tee hee! I make myself laugh!) And devour them all. Or nibble them all. To each his/her own, yes?
Next Post: my Nutella Rice Krispies squares, maybe? Or my latest creation, Fruit and Nut Chocolate Fudge Clusters? Do you have a preference? Let me know in the comments!

One thought on “Memories of Meals Past: Days of Red Wine And Chocolate (Cupcakes)

  1. Pingback: Baby Bunnies! In Mini Cupcake Form. Enough Said! |

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