Thursday, April 2, 2009

Strawberry Short(cup)cake

The title of this post comes partially from the recipe's main ingredient and partially from the lumpy shape of my failed icing, which sort of resembles that sweet-smelling cartoon field worker of my past. Really, what is with her enormous head? Which requires a tarp-sized bonnet to cover? Presumably for when she is out, defying gravity, bending over to pick strawberries and somehow returning to a standing position? Is she stashing the berries up there? Get a basket.

At any rate, these cupcakes were part win and part loss. Though the frosting never set up for me, the cakes themselves were delightful. They came from Martha's February cupcake-a-thon, and came out pretty well when divided.

Strawberry Cupcakes
(c/o Martha Stewart Living -- Makes 4-5 cupcakes)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cake flour*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, soft
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp egg substitute (or about half an egg)
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup finely chopped strawberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk, then the other half of the flour, mixing after each addition. Stir in strawberries.
  3. Divide between 4 or 5 (depending on how big you like your cakes) liners in a cupcake pan. Bake about 20 minutes total, but start checking at 15 for doneness.
*If you don't have cake flour, that's ok. Just use 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch and the other 1/2 regular flour. Or all regular flour. Whatever.

The Frosting Question
I totally flopped on the strawberry buttercream martha says to put on this. For an easier and slightly more fool proof frosting, I'd do a basic vanilla buttercream, either stirring more chopped berries in or using pureed strawberry as the liquid instead of milk. It'll go something like this:

4 Tbsp soft butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp milk (or strawberry puree?)

First, beat butter till creamy, just about 30 seconds. Then, on low speed (so you don't end up white-faced), mix in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pump up the jams to a higher speed and beat until incorporated, another 30 seconds. Add liquid and mix till combined. Then just let 'er rip for 2-3 minutes, until super fluffy.

For me, frosting is not an exact science. Sometimes it's really dry and I'll add more milk (a TEENSY bit at a time). Sometimes it's really soupy and needs more powdered sugar (same caveat). Don't be afraid to tweak a little, but do it judiciously. It's hard to un-do.

No comments:

Post a Comment