Friday, January 16, 2015

Pink Moscato Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Elevate your baking game, and bring a booze-infused sweet to the table by baking with wine.
It is also a fabulous way to use up any leftover wine you have. Perhaps you bought a bottle specifically to cook with, or just never seem to finish your sparkling wine before it would go flat.

I love Pink Moscato... My husband got it during the Christmas gift exchange with his colleague last year. The bottle has been sitting around for some time, because we are both casual drinkers, well..we only drink on special days.

Moscato wine has a light, sweet flavor. The taste profile of it is further enhanced by a burst of aromatic tones that include green grapes, citrus, ginger, almonds and orange blossom.

Moscato is a sparkling wine that typically comes from Italy. It’s made from moscato (muscat) grapes. Pink! Where does it get that blush and bashful hue? Most pink moscato is made from Muscat Blanc grapes but is infused with some red wine like merlot, pinot noir or whatever red wine they had laying around.

The batter is semi-liquid mixture and it does not turn red by the time we add moscato.
The cupcake turned out moist with hint of Moscato and it wasn’t overly sweet. It was perfect.

I was ready to dig in but first I needed to top it with something spectacular. So, I knew pairing this cupcake with Vanilla Swisss Meringue Buttercream was the perfect marriage.

The great thing about Swiss Meringue Buttercream is that it can be made in big batches and frozen, or refrigerated for up to a week. The only thing is you need to take a moment to reconstitute it back to its glorious satiny texture when you’re ready to use it. If it’s frozen or refrigerated, you need to thaw it at room temperature; this can take overnight if it’s frozen, and several hours if it’s refrigerated. 

I can definitely taste wine in this Moscato cupcake and the flavour of buttercream was wonderful. Floral aromas, mouthwatering sweetness, aromatic vanilla and a vibrant citrus finish that is perfect for the summertime.
I hope you can enjoy this cupcake as much as I do, something unique yet tempting.

Pink Moscato Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

For the cupcakes
2 cups (240 grams) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113.5 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 1/3 cups (320 grams) Pink Moscato or regular Moscato (I use Long Flat Red Moscato)

For the buttercream
5 large, fresh egg whites (150 grams)
1-1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(340 grams) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
few drops pink food colouring

For the cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 360° F/ 180° C. Line a standard cupcake pan with your favourite cupcake liners.
2. Sift the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside
3. In a small bowl mix the egg whites and vanilla
4. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy ( about 5 minutes).  Be sure to scrap down the bowl.
5. Add the egg whites and vanilla mixture gradually to the butter and sugar. Scrap down the bowl and mix just until combined.
6. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the Moscato to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. scrap down bowl after each addition and only mix until combined. DO NOT OVER BEAT. Beating too much after the flour is added will result in a dense and dry cupcake.  Your goal here is to handle the batter as little as possible.
7. Divide batter into each cupcake liners, bake until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Try not to over-bake. 
8. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream
1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don't begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
4. Add few drops pink food colouring.

• You may have to rotate your pans midway through baking if your oven heats unevenly.
• The cupcakes itself (without buttercream) will keep at room temperature in a container with some airflow for up to 3 days.
• How to store Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Place it in a tightly sealed containter and refrigerate it up to one week or place it in the freezer for up to a month.

Enjoy :*
luv Sandra

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