We had one of the best seasons for strawberries in a long time here in Michigan. It seems as if the proper balance of heat, sun and rain were on our side for once! They were perfect little beauties, bright red through and through. None of that white core in the center stuff that we get in the markets the rest of the year. Our strawberry season is typically mid June and only last 2-3 weeks. Much too short in my opinion! But while it’s here, we make the best of it, with all things strawberry. They’re fabulous straight from the plant, but I do make many strawberry pies, some freezer jam, strawberry cupcakes and more. Triple yum! This recipe, Strawberry Cupcakes with a Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, uses chopped strawberries in the cake and pureed strawberries in the frosting, close to 4 cups total. So this year, at the end of the season, I froze containers of the pre-chopped and pureed berries for a later batch. The berries were pulled from the freezer this weekend. And though I had to make minor alterations in the cake recipe, they turned out great. The chopped berries, upon thawing, had slightly more liquid than the fresh ones. So I simply drained some of the liquid and decreased the amount of milk in the batter. I didn’t notice a taste difference, they were just slightly more pink. My second problem was my butter-cream frosting “broke” for the first time ever. I was near tears, but I did learn how to “fix” it and I’ll address this miraculous cure in my next post! These cupcakes do not disappoint. They get rave reviews by all who get the chance to ingest them and they will quickly convert those who declare they just don’t like sweets! This recipe makes 34 standard size cupcakes. This time around I made 24 standard + 24 minis.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour, (not self-rising)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries
•Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
•Whisk all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, set aside.
•Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.
•Add eggs [and egg white], 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
•Reduce speed to low. Mix milk and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Occasionally scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
•Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed
•Place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160°F on a candy thermometer.
•Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition.
•Switch to a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate. [If using after refrigeration, allow to return to room temperature. Using paddle attachment of mixer, beat until smooth.]
•Spread on cooled cupcakes, or fill a zip-top bag, cut off corner and pipe on top of cakes.
Frosted cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
Original recipe can be found at: http://www.marthastewart.com/338183/strawberry-cupcakes-with-strawberry-butt?czone=food%2Fbest-cupcake-recipes%2Four-best-cupcakes&gallery=275387&slide=338183¢er=276944