Planning for a romantic afternoon or evening for two? It is easy to overcomplicate it when you really only have to worry about two things: something nice to drink and something nice to eat. (Ok, three: clean house before your guest arrives!) If all those things are taken care of, most other problems will work themselves out.
I was just reading about how Prosecco outsold Champagne for the first time last year. Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine, is just as good as Champagne and typically at a better price.
You don't have to save face when opting for Prosecco; La Marca, a top-rated Prosecco, looks like a million bucks but is only around $17 a bottle. With great fizz and tasty hints of honeysuckle and peach, it's a sparkling wine that upgrades any romantic evening.
We recently decided to pull out all the stops and make my last Saturday night truly sparkle by not only putting some La Marca on ice, but also putting into a recipe! As you may know, I have an obsession with cakes (my mom used to make cakes for a living when I was young), so I decided to whip up a Sparkling Strawberry Shortcake to celebrate the arrival of spring. I thought it was perfect after spending the day out enjoying the cherry blossoms that recently have bloomed here in Portland.
You can make this recipe as a cake, but I think it's more fun to put into cupcake or muffin tins - it makes serving and storing a bit easier. This recipe is somewhat like a sponge cake in texture - it's so much more flavorful though, and a great base for pretty much any kind of topping, from caramel to berries to chocolate. Let's dig in.
Sparkling Strawberry Shortcake
These cakes are just delightful. Top them with strawberries, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate, or just eat them right out of the pan - we won't judge, as the texture and flavor of these cakes is over the top.
- 2 3/4 cup flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup La Marca Prosecco
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup La Marca Prosecco
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put liners in your cupcake/muffin tins or grease them to prevent sticking - for this recipe, I strongly recommend liners.
Cream the butter and sugar together until nice and smooth. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Slowly add the Prosecco, vanilla, and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, making sure all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly.
In a separate chilled bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. By hand, fold the egg whites into your existing batter, taking care to incorporate thoroughly. Do not use a mixer - it is too easy to overmix.
Pour the batter into your tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes - the tops of your cakes should just start to be turning brown. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool for another 15 minutes before serving.
For the Topping
While your cakes are cooling, prepare your toppings. Mix your chopped strawberries in a clean bowl with the Prosecco, sugar, and salt; allow them to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before pouring on top of sliced cakes. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
This feature was brought to you in collaboration with La Marca. It is intended for an audience over 21 years of age.
La Marca makes the moment sparkle. Whether you're just hosting friends over for dinner and conversation or hoping to add some romance to a night with someone special, make it sparkling. Visit LaMarca Prosecco to find a retailer near you.