Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes

This past week I spent several days in wine country (Napa, Sonoma & Calistoga).  On the way from Lake Tahoe my friend Kristi shared a recipe for a merlot cake that I have turned into merlot cupcakes.  Cara, my other passenger, invented a unique wine glossary that became the basis for our wine tasting! 

chewy:  full-bodied & intense
crunchy: can taste the individual components of the wine
puny:  dilute, weak
meaty: similar to chewy (but just a little different)

(via Flickr)

Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes

2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups red wine (merlot, zinfandel, cabernet)

Heat the oven to 350°F.  Prepare the cupcake tins with liners. Sift flour with the cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.

Cream the butter in an electric mixer, beat in the sugar, and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs and then the vanilla - continue beating 1 to 2 minutes. Sift a third of the flour over the butter mixture and fold them together, using a spoon. Fold in a third of the wine. Add the remaining flour and wine alternately in two batches.

Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 full with batter. Bake for 12-15 minutes - checking frequently after 12 minutes.  Cool completely and sift with confectioner's sugar.

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