This recipe uses almost a whole bottle of champagne but is perfect for special occasions. PICTURE: Ivan Naude
Sparkling Pink Champagne Cupcakes (Makes 20)

This recipe uses almost a whole bottle of champagne but is perfect for special occasions.

Ingredients

115g butter

200g sugar

5ml vanilla essence

250g cake flour

2ml bicarbonate of soda/baking soda

1ml baking powder

1ml salt

125ml sour cream

125ml pink champagne

Pink food colouring (optional)

Filling

30ml corn flour

125ml cream - divide this into 2 x ¼ cups

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

125ml pink champagne

70g sugar

30m butter

5ml vanilla essence

Icing

250ml plus 15ml pink champagne

115g butter or margarine

280g sifted icing sugar

Decorations

Any bling balls

Pink decorating sugar

White cake glitter

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line 20 cupcake moulds or muffin tins.

Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after adding each egg. Add the vanilla and mix again.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, bicarb (baking soda), baking powder and salt then mix to combine.

In another bowl, whisk the champagne and the sour cream. Alternate adding the flour mix and the champagne mix to butter and sugar, beginning and ending with the flour mix - the batter will be quite thick. Add a tiny dash of pink food colouring for a more pink cake (optional).

Using a large spoon, carefully fill each of the cupcake liners to about ¾-full. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes and turn out on to a rack.

To make the filling whisk the cornflour with ¼ cup of cream and then beat in the 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg in a medium bowl.

In a saucepan add the rest of the cream, champagne and sugar and bring this mixture to the boil; remove from the stove. Pour half the boiling champagne mix into the egg mix. Keep whisking so that the eggs don’t cook.

Pour this mixture from the bowl into the rest of the hot champagne mix in the saucepan in a thin stream whisking all the time again.

Place the saucepan back on the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches the consistency of very thick custard. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and the vanilla essence. Leave to cool.

Using an apple-corer, small round cookie cutter or a knife, cut holes in the top of the cooled cupcakes about 1½ -2cm deep. Remove the excess cake from the divots and keep the tops as lids. Spoon the cooled pastry cream into the holes in the cupcakes and pop the little lids back on.

To the icing: reduce the champagne in a saucepan on a medium to high heat to about 2 T. Allow to cool. Cream the butter and the icing sugar. Pour the champagne reduction into the icing and add 1 T of the bubbly champagne from the bottle and mix well.

Decorate the cupcakes with icing and the cake pearls or silver balls and sprinkle with a little pink coloured sugar and cake glitter.