Chocolate & Merlot Cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes

    • 125g plain flour
    • 35g cocoa powder
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 100g granulated sugar
    • 120ml vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 80g soured cream

    For the icing

    • 250ml Merlot
    • 150g butter, at room temperature
    • 375g icing sugar

    To serve

    • Wilton® Bottle Toppers
    • 50ml Merlot

    Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Line the bun tin with cupcake cases
      2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the baking powder and salt, mix well and set aside.
      3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil with an electric hand mixer until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and the soured cream alternately, mixing after each addition until just combined. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, filling each about two-thirds full.
      4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
      5. To make the icing, bring the Merlot to the boil in a small saucepan. Heat over a medium to high heat for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about a quarter. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
      6. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until soft. Gradually sift in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the cold, reduced wine and beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a star-shape nozzle and pipe onto the cupcakes.
      7. Fill the bottle toppers with Merlot and insert one into the top of each cupcake. When ready to eat, squeeze the topper to infuse the cupcake with wine.