New Year’s Eve, 2005. I was 24-years-old, with an extreme desire to create a memorable night.
Now, I have learned many things in the past (almost) three years, and I am glad one of those things is you cannot force fun. Even with lots of alcohol. New Year’s Eve is called amateur night for a reason, and that night, I was the ring master of the amateurs.
I attended a party with my ex and I was on a mission. This mission included tequila, Miller Lite and a huge solo cup filled with champagne. Very, very cheap champagne. I was warned by many people that a night full of pain awaited me at the bottom of that cup, but their warnings fell on deaf ears. The night ended with me pretty tipsy, but having had a fun time. I thought I had shown all my friends I was the drinking champion of New Years Eve 2005, having successfully conquered the red vessel of liquid with no harm or foul.
If I had known what awaited me in the morning, I never would have even looked at that champagne bottle. Man alive, it was a bad scene. I had a throbbing headache for almost two days, and the slightest noise made me want to end it all. It felt like my brain was in a vice studded with nails. I never, in my 26 years, have had such a horrendous hangover. Besides the occasional rendezvous with a mimosa, my friendship with champagne was severed after that night.
I had some flashbacks when I found this recipe for bubbly pear cupcakes, but I decided to forge ahead and face my fears. I am very pleased I pushed the ugly memories of that night deep down inside me. These cupcakes are why I bake. I brought them to a party celebrating Bawstin’s new job and the masses seemed just as impressed. They were moist, flavorful and nothing like anything you could buy at the store. The champagne (specifically the bubbles) is to thank for the moistness. Besides my raspberry pudding cake, this may be the best thing I have ever baked. The flavors together are perfect and they are like nothing I have ever tasted.
Finally, some champagne without a world of pain.
Bubbly Pear Cupcakes
Adapted from YumSugar
2 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 firmish, but ripe, pears
1 cup champagne
½ stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tbs champagne
Preheat oven to 350°. In small bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt-set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until mixed and airy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg/butter/sugar mixture. Stir in vanilla and champagne. Peel and grate pears and add to the batter. Line cupcake tin with papers and scoop an even amount in to each cup-I got 28 cupcakes. Bake for 15 minutes, but start checking around 12 minutes. While cupcakes bake, making frosting by beating all ingredients together. Let cupcakes cook and then frost. Enjoy.