Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mimosa's for Brunch

A.K.A. The Champagne Adventures: Part 3

You might wonder where parts 1 and 2 are, well my adventures with Champagne started several weeks ago with the ‘Strawberries and Champagne’ idea. Sounds perfect right? Well, getting the Champagne part of the equation right proved to be more difficult than expected.

First I tried a Champagne Glaze from the Cupcake Project, but that just made the cupcakes soggy and sticky, not to mention the mess it made of my kitchen!

Then, I tried a different recipe from the Cupcake Project for a Champagne Mascarpone Frosting. It was good, but not great. It didn’t quite taste like Champagne. Probably because it didn’t actually have Champagne in it; Champagne Flavoring was the substitute. It also started to melt off the cupcakes when sitting out on the counter for a couple of hours.

Well, I didn’t want to settle for just a good recipe, so I was still searching for the perfect Champagne frosting. Since my White Wine Cupcakes turned out fantastically, I thought “Why not substitute the wine for Champagne?” I also thought, since Champagne has a weak flavor, I would add a couple drops of the flavoring I had left over. It turned out great! Sweet, with a subtle Champagne flavor and was a stiffer consistency.

Now on to the Mimosas! We had a family brunch (well brunch/lunch...i'm not sure you can call it brunch after 11am) this morning, so I figured Mimosa Cupcakes would go along perfectly. An orange cupcake with Champagne frosting in one hand and a mimosa drink in the other!

Orange Cupcakes (From the Cupcake Project)

These were denser cupcakes, but tasted good. The batter was VERY orange-y, but it baked out to a light orange flavor.

2/3 C sugar (for the zest)
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 C orange juice concentrate
1/2 C sugar (for the concentrate)
2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 C butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2/3 C plain yogurt

1. A few hours before you are ready to bake, combine the orange zest and the sugar in a bowl. This will let the orange flavor infuse into the sugar.

2. While you are waiting, prepare an orange syrup by bringing the orange juice concentrate and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Stir continuously until it is thoroughly combined and gets slightly thicker (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and return to room temperature. 

Should look like this:

3. With a fork, whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.

4. Beat butter and the sugar with grated orange zest in a large bowl for 1 minute, until light and fluffy.

5. Beat in eggs and yogurt until blended.

6. Alternately fold in flour mixture and 2/3 cup of the orange syrup (that should be pretty much all of the syrup) in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.

7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.

8. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean.

White Chocolate Champagne Buttercream Frosting (Adapted fromWe are not Martha)

1 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. white chocolate (I use Ghirardelli Bars)
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
4 teaspoons Champagne (you can add extra to taste)
3 drops Champagne Flavoring (you can order it here)


1. Melt white chocolate on the stove in a double boiler

2. Cream the butter at medium speed until it looks light and fluffy (3-4 minutes)

3. Beat in melted white chocolate

4. Add 1/2 C powdered sugar, then 1/2 teaspoon Champagne, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Repeat until all the powdered sugar and Champagne are blended in. Add in the Champagne flavoring.

5. If it's too thin, put the bowl of icing in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to thicken it up, and then give it a good beating with the mixer before filling your piping bag.

6. Pipe icing onto cupcakes. I used my mom's new tip # 2D for these.

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