When a strawberry lover like me comes by the sheerest chance across a blog that showcases the most outrageously strawberry cupcakes, what choice is left but to bookmark the recipe, print it out, make a special trip to the supermarket to get strawberries specifically for the recipe, eat the strawberries with vanilla cream instead of making the recipe, postpone making the recipe because of a lack of strawberries, finally send the husband out to get more strawberries for the recipe, eat half of those strawberries as well, and at last make the cupcakes? No choice whatsoever.
If you like strawberries, these cupcakes are chock-full, brimming, absolutely awash in the taste and aroma and colour of these luscious berries. No strawberry lover could pass these up.
The instructions for the cupcakes are as per those on Mike’s Table, but the ingredients are halved in quantity. I didn’t use cream cheese for the frosting, because I don’t really like cream cheese frosting. I used a mascarpone-based icing instead. I didn’t think the cupcakes needed a heavy frosting, but that’s just my opinion. I also didn’t have any home-made strawberry-rhubarb jam, so I just used regular strawberry jam instead for the cupcake filling.
Recipe for: Mike's very strawberry cupcakes
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
¼ + 1/8 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Large pinch salt
1/4-3/4 cup strawberry jam, whisked to slightly runny
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup strawberry puree
1/2 + 1/8 cups icing sugar
Beat together mascarpone and butter until well combined.
Beat in vanilla and strawberry puree.
Add in icing sugar, scraping down the bowl as you go. When it has all been incorporated, beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until icing is smooth. Place in the fridge till required.
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl, and then mix salt into that. Set this aside.
2. Hull, puree, and strain the strawberries to yield about 1/2 cup of puree (about 10 strawberries). Discard the seeds and any other solids remaining in the strainer.
Set 1/8 cup aside for the frosting and mix the remaining strawberry puree in a bowl with the buttermilk.
3. Preheat the oven to 170C.
4. Cream the butter and add in the sugar, mixing until the sugar has dissolved into the butter.
Then, add in the egg, mixing until fully integrated,
then finally mix in the vanilla.
5. Add a third of the dry mix into the butter bowl and mix just until fully incorporated.
Then add a third of the buttermilk/strawberry bowl, mixing until incorporated.
Repeat until done.
6. Now spoon the batter into paper linings in a muffin tray. Transfer this to the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes - but keep an eye on the cupcakes after about 15 minutes.
7. Once the cupcakes are done, give them a little time to cool and get them out of the pan.
8. To fill the cupcakes with strawberry jam, what I did was poke a hole in the middle with a stiff drinking straw. Then I filled an icing bag with strawberry jam, fitted a medium nozzle on it and pushed the nozzle into the hole I'd made. Then I squirted the jam into it slowly, until I could feel the cake plump out, the I withdrew the nozzle carefully, still squeezing until the jam oozed a little from the top. (It doesnt HAVE to ooze, it just did for me!)
9. Take the icing out of the fridge, beat to smooth if required, then ice the cupcakes and decorate with sliced strawberries.
Wait for the icing to firm up before diving into the cupcakes.
(Putting them in the fridge for a bit speeds up this process.)