I'd like to take a minute to talk to you about something very near and dear to my heart:
Champagne. I am not one of those people for whom champagne is reserved for special occasions. Unless if by "special" you mean a Wednesday when I remember to take the garbage out (even now I'm not positive it isn't meant to be Tuesday...or Thursday). Or a day when my purse happens to actually match my outfit. Or, really, any meal out.
The thing is, champagne is simply too delicious and too easy and inexpensive a way to give yourself a little treat to save it for weddings and New Year's Eve alone. But it IS the holidays, and you've got to do something special. So I decided to add more champagne. Seemed pretty surefire. Thus was born: champagne cakelets!
These little guys are nice and light, with an orange saffron glaze that compliments the champagne in the cake, rather than overpowering it. I made 3x3 inch square cakes and it made 18 plus a bit extra, so my guess is you'd get about two dozen regular cupcakes. It's a lovely treat to have in the winter, when citrus is in season, plus you should get enough juice and zest from one orange, possibly the one from the bottom of your Christmas stocking!
Here's the recipe:
2 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer
1/2 cup warm water
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sparkling wine (champers, prosecco, cava, etc)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Whisk together the warm water and Ener-G til lumps are gone and the mixture is a bit frothy.
Line 2 cupcake pans.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
Beat Ener-G til a bit frothy and gradually add sugar, til completely combined and starting to thicken. Add vanilla and beat til blended. Gradually add oil til blended and consistency is even thicker. Alternating between the two, add the wine and flour to the bowl, 1/3 at a time. One completely blended, mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour into cupcake tins and bake for about 25 minutes, and if baking on two different shelves, swapping the two tins' places halfway through. They won't brown at all but they'll be firm in the middle. Let them cool completely before glazing.
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed, strained orange juice
1/4 tsp saffron
orange zest for garnish
SIft the powdered sugar then sprinkle the saffron in, grinding it between your fingers into small and powdery pieces. Add the orange juice and whisk til consistency is smooth. Cloak each cake in glaze, garnishing immediately with orange zest. Let glaze harden before packing away.
And that's all there is to it!
Hope everyone has a marvelous New Year's Eve, with an appropriate amount of champagne. That's roughly a bottle a head, in my estimate.