Food and Wine Process Map

Steak and red, seafood and white, dessert and….Food and wine pairings are so confusing that sometimes one needs a process map to figure it out! I thought it would be fun to create a visual process map (yes, I am THAT nerdy) using different combinations. I help groups visually describe their processes so it isn’t surprising my work follows me home! (Process maps are also good to use for recipe planning. It helps organize thoughts into coherent ideas.)

I don’t always pair the “appropriate” wine with food because I like experimenting. Food and wine can be analytical and unpredictable at the same time, but that is part of the fun! Try fried chicken and Champagne, a la Max’s Wine Dive, or a fresh garden pizza and Rose. You might be surprised what works for you.

What is your most creative food/wine pairing?

Food and wine process map

Cupcake and Champagne Sunday!

Champagne and cupcakes

Sundays are perfect for whipping up lovely sweets and enjoying the end of the weekend. Today, I decided it was cupcake and champagne Sunday!

I am very fond of springtime in Paris. Yes, I am still in love with the romantic notion of the city-I am such a sucker. I fell head over heels when I saw An American in Paris as a kid. I even had my wedding photos done in Paris 🙂 It is still my dream to spend an extended amount of time in the city painting and writing!

One of my favorite pastimes while in Paris is visiting the pâtisseries. The pastries are truly works of art. They are sometimes too beautiful to eat! Today’s cupcake recipe was inspired by the rich chocolate ganache frosting that is often used on French pastries. I love vanilla and chocolate together so I decided to make a vanilla bean cupcake recipe. And, of course, champagne goes with chocolate!Champagne and bubbles

Vanilla bean and chocolate ganache cupcakes made my Sunday decadent and we all need a little decadence before the work week starts again! So, put on some music, dig out your pretty plates and napkins, and Winedown!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

  • Servings: 12
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 28 minutes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • Baking spray
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup room temperature butter (if salted butter then do not add additional salt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees. Spray cupcake pan with baking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat until combined. Scrape vanilla bean into butter mixture and mix thoroughly.

Add flour mixture to creamed batter alternately with milk. Mix well after each addition. Beat an additional minute to make sure all ingredients are combined.

Spoon into prepared cupcake pan filling each cupcake halfway. Bake approximately 24-28 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan. Place cupcakes on wire rack to allow to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the ganache topping by heating the cream over medium heat until bubbles start to form on the edges of the pan. Do not overheat! Pour heated cream over chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted and cream is combined. Let chocolate rest for 5 minutes before using.

When cupcakes are cooled, hold the cupcake upside down and dip the tops into the chocolate ganache. Place cupcakes on a plate for 10 minutes before serving to allow the ganache to set. Top cupcakes with raspberries or strawberries for a little extra elegance!

Champagne and cupcake pictures