If you didn't think cupcakes existed in Barcelona, think again. I've already managed to find the amazing Lolita Bakery in Borne last week, sampled 2 of their fare and as well as that purchased the gorgeous cupcake cases featured in this post (although kind of hard to see the design with the bright red cupcakes!) I've found baking tins, red food colouring and all my baking ingredients. I was feeling creative and wanting to making something with a Spanish twist, the first thing that came to my mind, Sangria! Fruity, sweet and boozy! Perfect.
So I started with vanilla cupcakes and knew I needed to add red wine, orange, lemon and cinnamon for a basic Sangria flavour. I made a decision to add cherries as well to give the wine more sweetness.
I made a cherry jus by reducing the cherries down with the red wine, adding the orange and lemon zest and juice as well as sugar and cinnamon to this mixture. It smelt like mulled wine and turned in to something like a cherry jam in the end which is what I added to my vanilla cupcake mixture.
This is very rough as I was pretty much tasting as I went. I think possibly the vanilla (I used fresh from a pod) was a bit over powering and I could have used more red wine. But thats my preference, I like to taste the specific flavours and as you know I like to taste the alcohol in my cocktail cupcakes as well so tend to add more than most recipes say :)
1/2 cup red wine (something sweet and fruity)
200g cherries, destoned and chopped
1 tsp each of orange zest & juice
1 tsp each of lemon zest & juice
1 tsp cinnamon
200g white sugar
190g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla ( I used vanilla pods, but essence will be fine )
red food colouring
1/2 cup butter
250g icing sugar
1tsp red wine
Preheat the oven to 180c
In a pan put the red wine, cherries, orange & lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and 50 grams of the sugar. Simmer for about 20 minutes, the mixture will reduce and thicken till its almost like jam. It tastes pretty sweet at this stage but will perfect when you add it to the rest of the mixture. Feel free to taste and add additional ingredients if you prefer. i.e more wine or citrus.
Pour the mixture in to a bowl and pop it in the fridge to cool down for another 20 min. At this stage you should mix the eggs, butter, vanilla and rest of the sugar together.
Then in another bowl mix the flour, baking powder & salt.
Combine the dry ingredients in to the egg mix alternating with the milk. Once this is all combined add the red wine and cherry jus you made earlier. Its going to go a brown colour so I added some red food colouring powder I found at Parami in Barcelona. It was intense, I used maybe a half a teaspoon and it went this very rich red colour. Beautiful.
Taste the cupcake batter!! I always add more of what I think it needs. I think I added a drop more wine and lemon zest because the vanilla pod flavour was dominating. But be careful with the liquid you don't want to mess up the consistency.
Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full and you should have 10-12 cupcakes depending on size your making.
Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are bouncy and a knife comes out of the cake clean.
Once you've taken them out of the oven let cool for 5 minutes before popping out of the cake tin on to a wire cooling rack and leaving to cool completely before decorating them.
For your frosting, cream the butter and add the icing sugar, mix well. I added a tsp of red wine and really gently mixed it in to create a marbled effect.
And thats it, decorate the cupcakes generously with the buttercream and add what you desire as a topping. I used lemon and orange zest and a cherry.
Enjoy your cupcakes and happy summer everyone!