Apologies for having three posts in a row on cupcakes. I’ve baked and cooked other things in between, even made ice cream, but haven’t gotten around to editing photos and writing them up …. yet.
While grocery shopping we picked up some strawberries. It’s a bit soon for the really fragrant sweet strawberries but they still look good. I grabbed an extra punnet so I could make Strawberry cupcakes.
I’ve finally managed to get one of those Strawberry hullers. Mum had mentioned one she had found to be perfect for getting the whole thing out, and you can see how well it works (you can buy them from Stevens). I’d been given one many years ago but it did nothing but pull at the greenery and even then it usually broke it all off, so I gave up on it. But this one is a keeper. Mr Fussy isn’t yet a convert, he chops the tops off for the strawberries he adds to his fruit salads for work.
Let me say it now, the strawberries need to be chopped up a lot more than I’m showing. While I chopped them a bit finer than the photo, they still needed more chopping. Much of the fruit sunk to the bottom, but it was like eating sweet stewed bits of strawberry and reminded me of those Strawberry Rhubarb pies I make. I must make one of those again soon.
I adapted the Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe a smidge (again). Obviously there’s the inclusion of Strawberries. The batter was still very much enjoyable by the spoonful. It seems I’ve picked up a nasty habit.
I found a few items at Briscoes on Friday. Wouldn’t you know it, they had a sale. If you’re not from New Zealand you wont understand my sarcasm. Mr Fussy calls the little glass dish a bug catcher. The cat has been giving it the beady eye all night too wondering what is inside and whether it’s likely to move.
Anyway, the reason for yet another cupcake recipe was more so I could have another chance to practice my icing.
I’m quite keen to get a rose swirl piped. I did give it a shot in my Ginger and spice cupcake recipe but it didn’t work. So I bought a 2D Wilton tip thinking that might make a difference. But having watched some of Lydia’s tutorials I think it’s more the speed at which I’m pulling the icing tip around the cupcake.
Anyway, I think I’m slowly getting there. It’s one of those things that I need to practice some more. So I guess that means more cupcakes.
Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from the recipe The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake by Cupcake Project
- 1 cup vanilla sugar
- 175 gm all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 57 gm unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup Greek style yoghurt
- 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup blue top milk
1 cup of finely chopped strawberries
- Heat oven to 175 C.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, yoghurt, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be quite liquidy.
- Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
- Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.
- When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.
This time I decided to use a Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) for the icing. In the past I’ve made a Buttercream icing with icing sugar and butter. SMB is quite different and it takes a lot longer and it’s a bit fiddlier. Most people who have commented on various posts discussing SMB claim that it’s worth the extra effort. The taste is in my opinion a lot sweeter, but it does seem more silky.
When all is said and done I haven’t found quite the right icing, but I’m undeterred and will continue to try different recipes.
I wont go into the recipe that I used, but I followed along to Sweetapolita’s tutorial and it worked just fine. It didn’t curdle (small prayer went up) and it piped well enough, though it was reluctant to sweep to an end. To end the Rose swirl you continue to pull the icing but not push more icing out. The SMB just sort of broke when I stopped pushing more icing out.
Once the SMB was ready I then halved the amount and coloured one half. I did my best to put dollops of the plain on one side of the piping bag and on the other side the coloured icing. It sort of worked. But I ran out of icing well before I had iced all the cupcakes I baked. I’d taken the recipe which called for 10 egg whites and whittled it all down to 2 egg whites (I adjusted all proportions to 1/5th).
I should have ended up with 2 cups of icing which I thought would be sufficient for the 22 cupcakes the recipe made (I only filled the liners 1/2 to make sure they didn’t creep above the liner/silicone cup). I really don’t think I got 2 cups of icing so make your adjustments as you see fit.