But after thinking for a bit, I realized that while I don't have a specific destination that is my favorite, whenever I am with my friends, having a girl's night, drinking wine and enjoying good food, that is my favorite place to be. And since I am usually the one to bring dessert, I knew that making a dessert that included wine would be a perfect representation of my favorite place to be.
And can I just say...these are some of the most delicious cupcakes I have had and/or made in a long time. the blackberry merlot flavor is subtle, and compliments the chocolate cupcake so, so well!! Mmm...I think I need to eat one. Right now.
Blackberry Merlot Cupcakes
Adapted from Bakers Royale
- 3 cups blackberries
- ½ cup Merlot
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
To make the blackberry merlot mixture
- Combine the blackberries, merlot, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl, stir, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator and place in a blender or food processor and process until pureed, 1-2 minutes.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, mashing with a spoon or spatula, to strain out the seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line mini or standard muffin tins with liners.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well.
- Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the 1/2 cup of the blackberry merlot mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth, about 30 seconds. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to fill lined muffin tins.
- Bake 18-22 minutes for standard size, or 11-13 minutes for mini size, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing them to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Place one inch of water in the bottom of a pot, and bring the water to a simmer. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl fitted over the pot, and bring mixture to 150 degrees F, whisking constantly.
- Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume, about 10 minutes.
- Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Continue mixing until smooth.
- Add the salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the remaining 1/2 cup blackberry merlot mixture and mix to combine.
- Use a spatula to put frosting into a piping bag, or apply directly to the cupcakes with spatula.