Monday, September 15, 2008

Cupcake Heaven
I felt the urge to do some baking this weekend and decided I wanted to make cupcakes, instead of making my normal vanilla ones I decided to try these delicious looking strawberry cupcakes I found on the site allthingscupcake. The recipe is from Candace Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes. Sprinkles is a great little cupcake shop in Beverly Hills – I had an overnight stop over in LA a couple of years ago and only had a few hours to see the sights, but I made sure I visited Sprinkles – very famous amongst the celebs (Katie Holmes and Tyra Banks are apparently addicted!). I brought the baked goods into the office this morning and so far everyone has loved them! They would be great for a bridal shower or even for your wedding, they keep really well so you can easily make them ahead of time.



Ingredients
Makes 1 dozen
• 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
• 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg, room temperature
• 2 large egg whites, room temperature
Directions
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.

Icing Ingredients
Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes
• 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
• 1 cup unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
• Pinch of coarse salt
• 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
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.

**I actually halved the icing recipe and found that there was more than enough – I still had leftovers!

Posted by Emma Henderson