Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Port Wine Infused Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mousse Frosting
These cupcakes are what I would classify as an "easy, fancy" recipe. The chocolate cupcake base is the same as used for the Scotchmallow Cupcakes.
Aside from what you'll need for the cake, the great thing about this recipe is the cupcakes look and taste very gourmet, yet are incredibly simple and require very few special ingredients to make. I made mine as mini-cupcakes because it worked out very well for me to use leftover cupcake batter from Valentine's Day cupcakes to fill my 12 cup mini-muffin pan from Sur La Table (I was dying to use that thing, but I need at least 2 more pans for one recipe amount of cupcakes to not take painfully long to make).
Since I wanted to make a mousse thick enough to be frosting, I was happy with this simple one from Jaques Torres, featured on Food Network.
For the Port Wine Reduction:
-2 Cups port wine (I used a Portuguese port from Trader Joe's, a recommendation from Mr. Pixie Crust- he had a Portuguese roommate in college he drank it with, so he's sentimental about it)
OPTIONAL: You can add in lemon and/or orange zest to the port prior to reducing, but I simply reduced the port on its own.
Gently boil the port until it reduces to about 1/2 cup- it should be a very thick, syrupy consistency.
Use 1/2 of the port reduction to brush onto each cupcake top with a pastry brush (you can gently apply with the back of a spoon as well).
For the Chocolate Mousse:
-14oz good chocolate (I did NOT use bittersweet chocolate. Rather, I used an equal mix of dark and milk Belgium chocolate and a bit of unsweetened baking chocolate wafers, all of which can be at Trader Joe's stores).
-1 pint heavy whipping cream
Melt the chocolate over the stove by placing it in a heat safe bowl, placed inside a pot of simmering water. DO NOT let the water leak into the bowl containing the chocolate. You can also microwave the chocolate to melt, if easier.
Pour the entire pint of whipping cream into the bowl of an electric mixer. Put the whisk attachment on the mixer and whip on medium-high until mixture becomes very thick.
After the chocolate has cooled for a couple of minutes, gently fold in a bit at a time with a rubber spatula. Lastly, add the remaining port wine reduction to the mousse and gently fold in.
Transfer mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe onto each cupcake. Garnish with a single blackberry, or as desired.