you can never have too much of a good thing: strawberry and cream cupcakes . . . again!

yet more strawberry and
cream cupcakes!
It was a friend's birthday and we were celebrating. I had made strawberry cupcakes . . . again. There are just some good things that you can never have too much of. 

I had an over abundance of fresh strawberries and decided to have a go at candying some and drying others, in the way that you would preserve tomatoes for a taste of sunshine in the winter. They weren't very pretty but tasted quite nice - an intense, sweet sharp flavour!


Candying strawberries was very easy, by simply making up a sugar syrup (equal amounts of water and granulated sugar, dissolved together). Coat the strawberries and then cook in a very slow oven (about 100C / Gas Mark 2) for 2 hours.
 

Makes about 16 cupcakes
Skill level: Easy
 

ingredients:
225g butter, at room temperature
225g vanilla caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 x large eggs
210g self-raising flour, sifted
25g cornflour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
30g dried strawberries (I had far too many strawberries and decided to have a go at slow drying them - it worked!)
strawberry jam
butter cream icing
2tbsp strawberry macerating liquid or a few drops of pink food dye
110g unsalted butter
60ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted
candied strawberry slices or pink sugar sprinkles, to decorate
 

directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line at least one 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases. (You will probably have enough batter mix to bake about 15 cupcakes).
  3. Cream the butter before adding the sugar. Continue to beat until the sugar has been absorbed and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Beat the eggs together and add to the butter and sugar mixture, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla essence and then the sifted flour and baking powder. Beat until well-combined.
  6. Stir in the chopped dried strawberries.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. They need to be about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
  8. Remove the muffin tins from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes and placing on a wire cake rack to cool.
  9. Add a little strawberry jam to the cupcakes once they have cooled. Make a small hole in the centre of each cupcake and add some of the warmed jam into the centre of each cake, before decorating with butter cream icing. I use a small pastry cutter with the diameter of a one pence piece, but you could use a sharp knife and a teaspoon to create the hole. Any cake that is excavated can be regarded as the cook's treat - well there it would be a shame to waste it (and you have to check that the cakes are perfect, don't you?)
  10. Make the butter cream icing by combining all the ingredients.
  11. Ice the cakes to your liking.
  12. Top with candied strawberry slices of decorative cake sprinkles.
tip:
  • The icing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge of about 5 days, but you will need to bring back to room temperature and beat it up again before using.

1 comment:

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

What agreat idea-drying strawberries.I have been buying dried strawberries here in the winter and re-hydrating them in my fruit compote that I serve to our guests for breakfast.I guess I will have to waittill next year now to try this as our strawberry season here has long since finished alas.