Champagne is about 300 yrs old and was created by mistake in Champagne, France. According to the story, a monk by the name of Dom Perignon was making wine in the church celler when he bottled and corked the wine before fermentation was completed. During the winter, fermentation was dorment but once spring hit the bottles heated and the fermentation process began again producing carbon dioxide. In finding the exploded bottles, Dom tasted one that was intact and it was a hit.
Creating Champagne today is quite different though. Champagne made outside of Champagne, France using the "French Method" is called "Methode Champenoise."
To start off, Champagne is created in the same fermentation process as wine called alcoholic fermentation or the conversion of sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide by yeast. The part that makes it Champagne is the Second Fermentation that is done in the bottle. The fermentation starts when the Triage (the base wine, sugar, yeast and yeast nutrients) is bottled, corked and allowed to slowly ferment in a cool celler for several months when the yeast cells die and fermentation is complete. The Champagne is allowed to age for several more years then Riddled to remove split yeast cells. They are frozen and a Dosage is added to adjust the sweetness.
And now the moment you've all been waiting for...
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better – even strawberry would be great!!)
- 6 egg whites
- 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.
In another large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
To Make The Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.