I know that summer has really and truly arrived in Michigan when strawberries start showing up at the farmers market. Sadly strawberry season is all too short, and is already nearing an end in our area. My husband and I picked strawberries this past weekend at Rowe’s Produce Farm, and I had bookmarked Love & Olive Oil‘s recipe for Strawberries Champagne Cupcakes for just this occasion. (Eat Like No One Else did a nice round-up of Michigan U-picks that might still have berries left, give a farm near you a call!)
I used a very dry champagne to reduce for the frosting, but I’d recommend using a sweet sparking wine. I was focused on what would become of the unused portion of champagne (my hubby and I are partial to dry), and hadn’t thought that reducing the dry wine might result in a bitter taste. I didn’t mind the resulting tang in the frosting, but I think that starting with a sweet base would have resulted in a better frosting.
My cupcakes were a subtle shade of purple after baking, still very tasty, but less aesthetically pleasing than the recipe author’s cupcakes. Next time I’ll make mini cupcakes like Love & Olive Oil did to help them retain more of a vibrant pink hue due to the shorter cooking time.