Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I think it's safe to say that I've gone out of control with the whole cupcake thing. I've probably got more cupcake posts than pie posts and I LOVE pie. I think it's the cute little individual size, how easy they are to give to people. I'm not sure. Recently it was the boy's friend's 40th bday (trying saying that five times fast). Well, with these guys you just know that any party they throw will have tons of beer and beef but little by way of birthday cheer. So to combat that I texted the Birthday Buddy (as he will now be referred to) to see find out his favorite flavor. After a ridiculous response of "blue!" I got him to own up to liking strawberry. So 40 Strawberry cupcakes it was, the boy was pulling for a cake in the shape of the number 40 but a cake sculptor I am not and we couldn't find number cake pans on such short notice.
I remembered reading somewhere about how Candace from Sprinkles Cupcakes (one of the best cupcake shops in LA) shared her strawberry cupcake recipe with Martha Stewart. I found the recipe online and set about to quadruple it for the necessary amount of cupcakes. I decided to do 2 double batches as it was much more manageable. The first batch turned out great, nice and soft with the perfect strawberry flavor. As I set out to make the second double batch I realized that in my first go I doubled everything but the eggs! But the cake worked and I really liked it so I decided to just keep going with it.
adapted from Sprinkles Bakery recipe
makes 20-24 cupcakes
1 1/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
adapted from Sprinkles Bakery recipe
enough frosting to pipe 20-24 cupcakes
1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
The one word I have for these cupcakes is "ice cream." The batter tastes like strawberry ice cream, the frosting tastes like strawberry ice cream and the whole thing put together tastes like strawberry ice cream. I have to say while it wasn't my favorite cupcake, it was pretty tasty and a hit with the boy and Birthday Buddy which is who mattered most. Even if it wasn't my favorite, I do think it's one of the prettiest cupcakes I've ever made and extremely feminine. Probably too feminine for a macho Special Effects guy, but no one complained once they tried them which is always a good sign. Enjoy!