Is there any fruit more seductive than the peach – the heady aroma, the blushing color, the shape which is reminiscent of the female form and that distinctively rich flavor?
1940’s Venice, Italy bar owner Giuseppi Cipriani combined two of his loves to make the Peach Bellini (surprise, no woman involved) – the pink glow he so admired in Giovanni Bellini’s paintings and white peaches. He combined white peach puree with Prosecco and the Bellini cocktail was born (much to the pleasure of his patrons who already had a love for white peaches marinated in white wine).
While here in the United States, the mimosa is the popular beverage of choice at numerous brunches…my preference is the Peach Bellini. I think it’s a lot lighter than than the orange juice heavy mimosa. There’s just a bit of peach puree (or peach juice which is more common) combined with more of the bubbly Prosecco. If you’re not familiar with it, Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine (that isn’t very expensive either <$10).
I like to make foods that are reminiscent of popular drinks, if you haven’t noticed yet. I did it with Jello Mojitos and Margarita Marinated Skirt Steak. So when I came across a cupcake recipe in that old cookbook I told you about earlier, I thought it would be perfect for making filled cupcakes adding Prosecco to the batter and peach jam oozing out of their centers.
I had no special occasion to bake these little lovelies for, but their blushing pink color would make them ideal for a baby shower, bridal shower, or for wedding cupcakes. We of course had a few of these cupcakes, but when I sent them to work with Craig he reported back that they were gone within minutes.
In today’s hurry up/I want it now society, we’ve lost the art of seduction. Yes, I said art. Seduction isn’t something that comes with line by line instructions, it’s something from within yourself that needs to be honed. Seduction is psychological – while some of the actions are tangible and it’s end results are physical, seduction itself is psychological.
The acts of playing, fantasizing and mystery are all things that we’re born with, and have lots of fun with, but somewhere along the way we lose these things from our lives. That’s what seduction offers us. Being seduced gives us the luxury of mystery – what’s coming next? how long will this last? It heightens our senses. Being the seducer gives us that intoxicating feeling of power, because the seducer is the only one who has the answers to those questions.The seducer and the seduced are not gender specific roles. Either can be played by a man or a woman.
So as a start, may I suggest a little food porn seduction 101 a la 9 1/2 Weeks? If you need a refresher, put it in your Netflix queue (but don’t let your mind start focusing on how hot Mickey Rourke looked in that movie compared to the beat up plastic version Mickey Rourke of current). Before reenacting the scene may I also suggest that you plan this out. Don’t just think you can start grabbing any ol’ thing out of your refrigerator. Feeding your loved one cold spaghetti and some moldy something or other will kill the mood faster than you can say food poisoning.
Makes 18 Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 Cups Cake Flour
- 1/4 Cup Corn Starch
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 3/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 Cups Egg Whites (approximately 11 large eggs)
- 3/4 Cup Prosecco
- 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 Drop Red Food Coloring
- 3/4 Cup Peach Jam
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Adapted from Wilton Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 Cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 1 Teaspoons Vanilla Paste
- 4 Cups Sifted Confectioners’ Sugar (approximately 1 pound)
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
Sift flour, corn starch and baking powder to ensure that they are mixed thoroughly.
Cream sugar and butter together until mixture is light yellow in color and mixed thoroughly.
Add 1/2 of the egg whites to sugar and butter mixture (scrape down sides as necessary).
When combined, add 1/2 of the flour mixture.
Mix until smooth and add the rest of the egg whites.
Add Prosecco, almond extract and the balance of the flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
Add 1 drop of red food coloring and continue to mix until mixture is evenly colored.
Pour into paper cup liners about 2/3 full.
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out moist but clean.
Let cool completely before decorating.
Buttercream Icing Recipe
Add shortening and butter to a large bowl (preferably in a stand mixer) and cream together.
Add vanilla paste and continue creaming.
Gradually add the sugar to the shortening and butter mixture. This will definitely require scraping the sides of the bowl several times as the sugar is added. It’s also helpful if you stop the mixer when adding the sugar. This will keep the sugar in the bowl and not blowing all over you.
Once all of the sugar has been added, the icing will look dry (this is normal). Add the milk and beat until icing is light and fluffy.
Assembly of Cupcakes
Fill a pastry bag, with medium round or star tip attached, with peach jam.
Insert tip deep into the cupcake and squeeze pastry bag while lifting it at the same time.
If you don’t have a pastry bag or really want to put a lot of peach filling into the cupcakes, scoop out a small hole in the top of the cupcake and spoon the jam into the cupcake.
Pipe icing on top of the cupcake to finish.
**Please note: these cupcakes are a little drier than what you are probably used to. This is due to the egg whites in the batter (which are a drying agent). They are still moist, but they are not like a boxed cake mix and super moist.