Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes (36 mini cupcakes, 3 per Champagne flute)
Servings: Serves 12
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 Tbsp. good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking powder, sifted
1/4 Tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract + seeds from 1 vanilla bean (NOTE: move down to next line...see edits to other recipe)
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
Champagne Buttercream Frosting
16 Tbsp. (8 ounces) unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tsp. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
24 fresh strawberries
1 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
2 cups high-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
12 glass Champagne flutes
12 long spoons
12 indoor-safe sparkler candles
Step 1: Baking the Mini Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 mini cupcake pans with 36 mini baking cups or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.
Dice up 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries and soak in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.
Gently fold in the diced Champagne-soaked strawberries, just until incorporated.
Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. If using paper baking cups, peel off all of the paper baking cups from the cupcakes at this time.
Step 2: Making the Champagne Buttercream Frosting
Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract, milk, salt and Champagne, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Place frosting in a disposable piping bag with a large round tip.
Step 3: Preparing the Strawberries
Slice 24 strawberries lengthwise and soak in 1 cup of Champagne for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 4: Making the Chocolate Ganache
Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or 2 of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a medium glass bowl over the saucepan and melt the chocolate chips. Stir occasionally until the chips are completely melted. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the saucepan. Pour the ganache into a plastic squeeze bottle. (If a squeeze bottle is not available, you can drizzle with a spoon.)
Step 5: Assembling Layers in Champagne Flutes
Line up 12 glass Champagne flutes. Insert 1 mini strawberry Champagne cupcake in the bottom of each glass. Next, pipe a swirl of Champagne buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake. Add several slices of Champagne-soaked strawberries, and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Repeat layers. Finally, place a third mini strawberry Champagne cupcake at the top of each glass, pipe with a final "Georgetown Cupcake signature swirl" of Champagne buttercream frosting, and top with a final drizzle of chocolate ganache.
Step 6: Serving
Insert 1 indoor-safe sparkler candle in the top of each glass. Light the candles at midnight, serve with spoons, and enjoy!