"Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?" Yet another one of life's mysteries. While saying goodbye is never easy, the process is always best when accompanied by a delicious cupcake. At least in my humble opinion.
The Hasta Lavista Toey cupcake was created to sweeten the celebration of my friend Todor and his wife Heather's exciting move to San Francisco. The recipe begins with a velvety champagne cupcake that is filled with either Cherry Curd or Raspberry Pastry Cream, topped with a Limoncello italian meringue buttercream frosting, and finished with smoked fleur de sel. The champagne bubbles adds height and a sense of lightness to the cupcake, much like how both Todor and Heather are tall, light and agile athletes.
Homemade Limoncello is preferred, but can only be procured from a friend, as it is illegal to sell in NY/NJ. Most recipes require 80 days for the alcohol to sit prior to consumption, eliminating my ability to make it. I read that many commercial brands had off tastes and were unpleasant, and was unable to find the most recommended brands in a store. I settled for Sogno di Sorrento Lemoncello, and it was delicious.
It's always hard to say good bye, but hey, why not sweeten it with a dope cupcake in hand? :)
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 plus 1/4 cup champagne (3/4 cup total)
- Pinch of smoked or regular fleur de sel
- Make either the Raspberry Pastry Cream or Cherry Curd recipes
- Follow directions for Jameson Italian Meringue Butter cream
- Substitute about 1/3 cup Limoncello for the Jameson. Keep adding until it can't take any more Limoncello for optimal flavor.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 16 muffin cups with foil liners
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment:
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and mix.
- In another bowl:
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl:
- Whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream
- Mixture will fizz and bubble a little
- In the bowl of the stand mixer:
- Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick.
- Do not overmix.
- Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.
- Bake for 17-22 minutes, and remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from the pan
- Poke holes in the top of the cupcakes
- Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining 1/4 cup champagne on top of the cupcakes
- Feel free to use more than 1/4 cup!
- Allow cupcakes to cool and dry completely before adding filling.
- Using an apple corer or butter knife, cut a nickel sized cylinder in the cupcake and discard
- Generously fill the cylinder with the Cherry curd or Raspberry Pastry Cream. This is not a cupcake to skim on!!
- Pipe the luscious limoncello frosting on top.
- Sprinkle smoked fleur de sel on top.
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator after assembly if not consumed right away
- Refrigerated cupcakes need to sit out for about 2 hours prior to consumption, or the icing will be as hard as a rock. :)
Recipe Notes: The cupcake recipe makes about 16 cupcakes. The frosting recipe yields enough frosting for 16 - 24 cupcakes. The curd and pastry cream recipes both yield enough filling for about 48 cupcakes.