Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chocolate Port Cupcakes, with Port Wine Reduction Syrup, Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling, and Chocolate Mousse

Thursday was my oldest brother's, Vinnie, birthday. Tonight we are getting together, along with a couple of friends of ours (one of whom had a birthday last week as well). Vinnie's dessert request was cupcakes. I used this opportunity to cross off an item off my 30 Challenging Foods Before 30 list. I made these. Had to sample one. Or two. (I worked out this morning, it's like I never sampled any! Yes, logic reigns supreme here.) I'm slightly hopped up on the sugar now. Maybe I should have limited myself to just one.

Source: Food Network


1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups sugar (13 ounces)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
3/4 cups cocoa powder (2 1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup port wine, heated
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Whisk together the buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and add into the wet mixture. Whisk the batter together until almost all the lumps are gone. Add in a small amount of the port wine to help thin the batter. Once it is incorporated, slowly add in the remaining wine, whisking continuously. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and make sure that there are no lumps.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Port Wine Reduction Syrup:

1 3/4 cup port wine
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the wine, sugar and salt in a sauce pan. Simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat to cool. Set aside.

Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling:

1 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

Mix the creme fraiche with the raspberry preserves to combine in a small bowl. Place into the fridge until ready to assemble.

French Chocolate Mousse:

6 ounces chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, COLD
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler). Melt the chocolate and butter together and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate, 1 by 1, beating with a whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Beat the heavy cream in a chilled bowl until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla. Continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.

Gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, delicately fold in the whipped cream. Take care not over work the mousse. Refrigerate at least an hour before assembling.
Using an apple corer, remove a piece of the cupcake from the center. 
Pour with 1 teaspoon Port Wine Reduction Syrup.
Then fill the cupcake with the Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling using a piping bag.
Using a large star tip, pipe the chilled French Chocolate Mousse onto the cupcake.


  1. OMG I love cupcake it looks fantastic.

  2. Thanks! I think these may be on my on list of foods if I were to ever be trapped on a desert island.