|yet more strawberry and |
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
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!)
butter cream icing
2tbsp strawberry macerating liquid or a few drops of pink food dye
110g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted
candied strawberry slices or pink sugar sprinkles, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
- Line at least one 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases. (You will probably have enough batter mix to bake about 15 cupcakes).
- Cream the butter before adding the sugar. Continue to beat until the sugar has been absorbed and the mixture is smooth.
- Beat the eggs together and add to the butter and sugar mixture, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Add the vanilla essence and then the sifted flour and baking powder. Beat until well-combined.
- Stir in the chopped dried strawberries.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. They need to be about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
- 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.
- 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?)
- Make the butter cream icing by combining all the ingredients.
- Ice the cakes to your liking.
- Top with candied strawberry slices of decorative cake sprinkles.
- 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.