Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate & Goat Cheese Cupcakes


A stellar cast of characters create a cupcake not to be missed.

Last week Raycom Media asked me to come up with a dessert for an Oscar themed menu.  I was sent a list of all the nominated movies and a quick summary of each.  After reading through them, there were definitely some obvious desserts that I could have made, but I like to think outside the box. Instead of taking inspiration from one particular movie, I created a dessert inspired by Hollywood's biggest night itself.  One that is elegant, charming, and ready for the red carpet!  You can read the news story here.

My first task was to assemble a cast of characters that would make this dessert a success.  I opted to go with a cupcake because it's fitting for any party you're having.  In order to dress up my chocolate cupcake, I decided I would incorporate goat cheese.  I made a goat cheese frosting that is light and airy like a mousse.  Light brown sugar in both the frosting and cupcake add a wonderful layer of flavor. That slight tang of the goat cheese frosting paired with the chocolate cupcake is a flavor combination that should not be missed!  This is also a great way to try goat cheese in a dessert if you haven't gone there yet.  At this point the cupcake was good, but it needed that finishing touch.  That's when the red wine popped in my head.  I got a sweet red wine and let it reduce till it got nice and syrupy.  I spooned a little of the reduction over the frosting, and that's when the magic happened.  Besides adding a fantastic color to the cupcake, the wine added a sweetness that was needed.  With underlying hints of cherry and pomegranate shining through, it balanced the cupcake beautifully.  The final product is incredibly luscious, yet refined at the same time.
I guess you can say the star of this show is the goat cheese frosting with supporting roles going to the red wine reduction and chocolate cupcake.  While they all hold their own, together they create a smashing success!



Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2t. vanilla bean paste -you can also use vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1t. baking soda
  • 1/2t. salt
  • 1/2 cup coffee 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make coffee and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars till light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla.
  5. Sift dries together.
  6. Alternate adding the dries with the coffee and buttermilk. 
  7. Fill cupcake pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes rotating once halfway through.
*Yields approximately 18 cupcakes
Goat Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup + 2T. light brown sugar
  • 1t. vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. Cream goat cheese, light brown sugar, and vanilla on medium speed till creamy.
  2. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar till stiff.
  3. Fold whipped cream into goat cheese mixture and refrigerate till ready to use.
Red Wine Reduction

  • 1 cup red wine - I used a sweet red wine, use one you like to drink.
  1. Bring wine up to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low and let simmer down to about 1/4 cup liquid.  It takes about 12-14 minutes to reduce and get syrupy.  Make sure you keep a close eye on it!
  2. Make sure it is completely cool before you spoon it on the frosting.
Notes:
  • This recipe yields about 15 cupcakes.  
  • Spoon the red wine reduction on close to serving time so it looks pretty.
*You may also like:

47 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, these are amazing. I love your thought process to put these together and that red wine reduction...BRILLIANT! These are gorgeous, definitely deserving of a red carpet menu!

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  2. This looks really intriguing, especially with the red wine reduction! Wow. And it looks stunning, too!

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  3. Could these get anymore gorgeous!! I can't believe that deep red is a reduced red wine, this sounds incredible, seriously. Wow!

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  4. Oh my gosh!! These pictures are incredible! I am trying to wrap my head around goat cheese and chocolate. I bet the frosting is soo creamy!

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  5. Amazingly beautiful frosting. I wouldn't be able to take a bite!

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  6. Lately I have been really into the whole chocolate wine thing, so these do inspire. In reading this I am sure that all the elements come together to make for one fantastic cupcake. You definitely have the touch when it comes to creating something extraordinary and this post certainly proves it. I so want to try these. Also, the stunning picture should be in a magazine. Impressive post as usual!

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    1. Thank you for reading & your kind words Tina!

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  7. I love goat cheese but I never thought that I could use it on a cupcake. Very good! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. You are amazing! I swear no one else can turn goat cheese into such amazing desserts! The red wine is a great touch!

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    1. Thanks so much Erin! This was a fun project!

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  9. This is very creative Meghan. You should get an Oscar for this one.

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  10. This sounds amazing and so creative! I bet it tastes good! Yum!!

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  11. These look so delicious. This is a cupcake like no other I've ever heard of. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Yummy! I'd also like to invite you to enter the giveaway I'm hosting on my blog for Satori Cheese. http://quiche-ingqueen.blogspot.com/2012/02/satori-cheese-giveaway.html

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  12. Just wow...I don't think these could possibly get any more delicious sounding! Red wine, chocolate and goat cheese all on my favorite things list! So beautiful as well! I want one :)!

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  13. These cupcakes look fantastic! The reduction and frosting are such a great touch to an oterwise simple cupcake!

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  14. What a clever cupcake. I don't know how you do it but I'm in awe.

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    1. You're so sweet, thanks Maureen!

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  15. These are so elegant. I love the finishing touch of the wine reduction on top. Award winning!

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  16. Those are so pretty! The colors are just gorgeous!

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  17. I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE these! Not only are they just stunning, but the combo of goat cheese, red wine, and chocolate just sounds so incredible!

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  18. Oh, my! This is absolutely brilliant! You really did think outside the box and came up with Oscar Gold! BRAVO, girlfriend and I'm happy to buzz, Buzz, BUZZ this one!

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  19. Charlie2/22/2012

    I love the way you spooned the reduction over the icing.

    Looks more appealing than just adding to.

    Also love the goat cheese addition! Who would have thought?????

    Will give these a try.

    Last summer I picked up a couple of bottles of different wine drizzles to be used they say on ice cream etc.

    It is great on ice cream and I've used it with meats.

    Now I get to try it with your lovely cupcakes.

    Thanks for sharing :~)

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    1. Thanks Charlie! Hope you like them!

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  20. SEEEEERIOUSLY!!!! I'd say this is an absolute smashing success, a success I'd like to smash right in my mouth!

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    1. Lol, thanks Julia!! I know you love goat cheese as much as I do!

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  21. Great work and great ideas to learn about some delicious recipes

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  22. These are both brilliant and gorgeous. I must try that goat cheese frosting. And the red wine reduction? Genius touch to tie it all together. I am loving these!

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  23. Thanks for all the comments guys! I'm glad you're all digging the goat cheese!

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  24. I'm with everyone else...the goat cheese sounds amazing. And I just love the red wine syrup. Seriously gorgeous treat!

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  25. Holy Smokes! That's a super cupcake. A dressed up, gorgeous, guaranteed to steal the red carpet show cupcake! Well done :)

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  26. I never would have thought to use goat cheese for the frosting and love the color contrast with the wine reduction - simply gorgeous cupcakes! I have featured this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks as ever for the inspiration...

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    1. Thank you, glad you like them! The red wine reduction really made the cupcake come together! Thanks for featuring them in your roundup today!

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  28. These are certainly award winning!!! Just stunning!!!

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  29. Look really amazing. Love them so much

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  30. This looks absolutely delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.

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  31. Replies
    1. Thank you! They're definitely my new favorite cupcake!

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  32. Wow, these cupcakes look insanely good, so fancy! Totally delicious, yum! :)

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  33. After seeing that lusty yummy photo some has to prepare that for me.

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  34. Beautiful ... wonderful work, congratulations!
    I love your blog, I will visit more often!
    kisses! (Brazil)

    Also visit the Sweet Kitchen.

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  35. Wow! These look delicious! I wish I had one right now!

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  36. Really spectacular! Definitely worthy of an award.

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