An amalgamation on my two favourite cakes – Red Wine Cupcakes and Quinoa Chocolate Cake – these Red Wine Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes certainly take the cake. I’m all about things in moderation, but dark chocolate (and perhaps, maybe, sometimes, red wine) are the two that require brute force to keep in moderation.
For those who will be celebrating Valentines without their love this year (me!), embrace that this recipe serves 15 and get amongst a casual group dinner party. As our least favourite (being ridiculously commercialized) holiday, we can hardly resent being apart for Valentines. No pink, no love hearts and no candy to be found in our home this weekend! Just purplish, red wine tinted cream cheese swirled over rich chocolate oh-so-moist quinoa cupcakes.
Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Quinoa 365
Makes 15 cupcakes
2/3 cup quinoa (this time I used red quinoa)
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup red wine
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup raw cane sugar (or white)
1 cup cocoa
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover, cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Lightly spray a 12- muffin pan with baking spray or line with cupcake liners.
In blender combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, red wine, eggs and vanilla. Add the melted butter and blend until smooth. Add sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the blender and blend until well mixed. Pour into muffin pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until knife inserted in centre of a cupcake comes out (fairly) clean. Transfer to wire rack. The cupcakes will sink a little on cooling.
Red Wine Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup sugar
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
100g butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered (icing) sugar
Place red wine and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick and syrupy – it should make about 1/3 cup total. Transfer to bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy (ensure no lumps). Add powdered sugar until desired sweetness – I find 1/2 cup to be enough. Slowly pour in red wine syrup, reserving 2 tablespoons.
Frost cupcakes with piping bag. For an effective spiral appearance, drizzle a tablespoon of the syrup into the piping bag before dolloping in the cream cheese frosting. Gently squeeze in a spiral pattern over cupcakes. Garnish with a chocolate heart (aww) or a red grape.