One of my favorite actresses of all time recently passed away. I'm talking about Dame Elizabeth Taylor. I have seen all her movies, followed her career and have observed as she pioneered the fight against AIDS. She was glamourous, beautiful, an intelligent business woman and a romantic. Yes, she was married many times, she never gave up on love even after seven failed marriages. I never met Miss Taylor in person, but I can imagine that she lived a great life. I'm honoring her life in my own small simple way, by dedicating a cupcake that even she would enjoy. A champagne cupcake, strawberry curd filling and a port wine buttercream. Caviar pearls and 24 karat gold dust complete the look.
Yield 12 cupcakes
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup champagne**I used a light pink rosé.
6 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne. In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Yield: About 2 cups
14 ounces strawberries
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Bring the puree to a bare simmer in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a large bowl. Continue whisking while adding the hot puree in a thin stream. Place the bowl with the egg mixture over a medium pan of simmering water, and heat, whisking constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Stir in the butter and lemon juice. Chill. Keeps for a day or two tightly sealed in the refrigerator.
Port Wine & Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsps port wine
3 tbsps strawberry jam
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter until creamed. Add the powdered sugar and champagne and mix until the ingredients are evenly incorporated and the frosting is smooth and creamy. Pipe on cupcakes using a 1M tip.
(February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011)