Regardless of whether you’re hanging with your bae, going out with a Tinder date or flying solo this year, red wine chocolate cupcakes should absolutely be a part of your Valentine’s Day celebration. Why should you make them for V-Day? Chocolate is an aphrodisiac and red wine is just really sexy. (Bonus: you don’t have to ball out for an expensive bottle because we’re baking the alcohol into the cake!) The mascarpone whipped cream (think of it as a grown-up cream cheese frosting) pairs amazingly with the chocolate and wine combo.
A note about ingredients: Dutch process cocoa powder is a necessity for this recipe- if you use natural, it’ll throw off the acid-base balance and your cupcakes could taste funky. Dutch processed cocoa has been processed in a special technique that makes it less acidic than natural cocoa and lends a deeper, chocolatey flavor to your baked goods which is a definite plus here. This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, a favorite NYC food blog.
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45 min
For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
¾ cup red wine (plus an extra glass for yourself)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
½ cup Dutch cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the whipped cream:
½ cup mascarpone cheese, chilled
½ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325° F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until they’re light and fluffy looking.
3. Add the egg and yolk, beat well, then add the wine and vanilla. Your mixture will look chunky and maybe kind of disgusting, don’t worry, this is normal.
4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until it’s almost completely combined. Put down the electric mixer and fold in the remaining dry spots with a rubber spatula.
6. Distribute the batter into each of the muffin liners and bake about 25 minutes.
7. To make the whipped cream, beat together the mascarpone, cream, sugar, vanilla and salt until it resembles whipped cream.
8. When the cupcakes have cooled, dollop a bit of whipped cream onto each cupcake.