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Home cooking: Chocolate cabernet cupcakes

July 09, 2013

Lori Cooper of Greencastle, Pa., submitted an entry in The Herald-Mail’s 2013 Cupcake Contest. She didn’t win, but her wine-infused recipe caught the judges’ attention.

“The cupcake thing is a hobby for me,” Cooper said this week by phone. “About two years ago, I entered  a competition with a lemon-limoncello cupcake. So this led me to making alcohol-infused cupcakes. Now this is my hobby business — Cocktail Cupcakes.”

Cooper said she recently catered cupcakes for a wedding reception — 100 cupcakes in two flavors, lemon-limoncello and chocolate-cabernet. The bride and groom had a destination wedding, then came home and held a reception-picnic for friends and family who couldn’t make the wedding. The cupcakes served as a wedding cake.

When she’s not baking cupcakes, Cooper cooks meals for her family. Nowadays, the family is smaller. 

“Now it’s just my husband and I,” she said. “We had three daughters, but they’re grown and moved on.”

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But Cooper taught her daughters to cook before they grew up. “It’s important,” she said.

The idea for the recipe Cooper entered in The Herald-Mail’s contest came from a wine tasting where patrons sampled chocolates and wines. Cooper said she’s a fan of cabernet. So she combined chocolate and cabernet, then added berries.

 — Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor

   If your organization or place of worship would like to participate in the Home Cooking column, contact Chris Copley at 301-791-6177 or chrisc@herald -mail.com.

Chocolate cabernet cupcakes

Cake: 

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

2/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup red wine (see cook’s note)

1/4 cup boiling water

1/3 cup toasted pecans, ground in food processor

Frosting:

1 cup fresh blackberries, washed and dried

1/2 cup red wine (see cook’s note)

1/2 cup butter, unsalted

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon evaporated milk, as needed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cupcakes, in a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate, large bowl, cream together egg, sour cream, oil and wine for 2 minutes. Slowly add dry mixture until combined. Add hot water and stir. Fold in nuts.

Pour into prepared cupcake tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

To make frosting, in a small saucepan, simmer berries and wine. Mash berries as they cook, and reduce liquid by half. Strain, pressing to extract the juice. Let cool.

Beat butter until light and creamy. Add sugar and enough milk to get a thick consistency. Add blackberry-wine liquid and mix well until desired consistency is reached.

Cook’s note: Lori Cooper uses cabernet sauvignon wine.

— Courtesy of Lori Cooper of Greencastle, Pa., who adapted the recipe from one at IHeartCuppyCakes.com.

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