Recipe courtesy of Sweet Arleen's

Standing Ovation: Sweet Chocolate Port Cupcakes, Port Wine Reduction Syrup, Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling, French Chocolate Mousse

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
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Ingredients

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

Port Wine Reduction Syrup, recipe follows

Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling, recipe follows

French Chocolate Mousse, recipe follows

Gold leaf flakes, for garnish

Port Wine Reduction Syrup:

1 3/4 cups port wine

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling:

1 cup creme fraiche

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

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

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners.
  2. 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. Scrape the bowl, then mix again briefly. 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. Scoop into the prepared cupcake liners using a number 16 scoop. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  3. To assemble: Allow the cupcakes to fully cool. Using an apple corer, remove a piece of the cupcake from the center. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon Port Wine Reduction Syrup. Fill the cupcake with 1 teaspoon Raspberry Creme Fraiche Filling. Using a large star tip, pipe the chilled French Chocolate Mousse onto the cupcake. Garnish with the gold leaf flake.

Port Wine Reduction Syrup:

  1. Combine the wine, sugar and salt in a saucepan over a low flame. Simmer until reduced to 3 1/2 ounces liquid.;

French Chocolate Mousse:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Whisk the creme fraiche with the raspberry preserves to combine. 
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