Thursday, July 29, 2010

strawberry love cupcakes

These are pure strawberry love. The batter has berries scattered throughout and the glaze is made from pureed strawberries. I think the best way to describe these is to say they taste like how I expect other strawberry baked goods to taste, and yet so often am disappointed. Not here. No artificial flavors, no scary pink food coloring, just strawberries. Strawberry love. Is it going to far to suggest making these while dancing to Coldplay's "Strawberry Swing"?
These are my husbands absolute favorite. I made a batch for his birthday and I think he ate 7 of them. Me? I happily had several in lieu of dinner. They are light and even unfrosted are just sunshine. I would feel perfectly confident serving them with just a dusting of powdered sugar.
The cupcake recipe is from Martha Stewart. The glaze is from Giada de Larentiis book, Giada's Kitchen. I should say that I have used this glaze method for numerous cakes; substituting blackberries or raspberries in the berry puree. Gorgeous colors result.

Strawberry Cupcakes
makes 34 cupcakes

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients (both flours, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl.

2) Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

3) Reduce speed to low. Mix remaining wet ingredients (milk, vanilla) in a separate bowl (I find a large measuring cup to be perfect). Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filing each 2/3rds full.

4) Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days. 

Strawberry Glaze

1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained (I use fresh)
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1) Puree the strawberries in a blender or small food processor. Sift the confectioners sugar and place in a medium bowl.

2) Pour the strawberry puree and whisk until smooth. Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the strawberry glaze. (I don't do this- I just spread the glaze on with a butter knife.) Let the cupcakes sit or a few minutes for the glaze to firm up, then serve.

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