Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Somewhat Secret Strawberries

While in Cape Town we spent a night at our friends Brad and Kendall, Kendall being the creative mastermind behind Eat Cake, a company that creates beautiful origami swan chandeliers and awesome jar lights.
While visiting, for my birthday she baked the tastiest, moistest strawberry cupcakes (above), so when I got home I just had to track down the recipe and try them myself!
(I tweaked the recipe marginally as I preferred to rather drop the strawberries into the top of the batter, rather than put them in at the bottom as the original recipe suggests. When they are at the bottom they tend to form a very wet base, often causing the cupcake sponge to separate from this bottom part) 
Hummingbird Bakery’s Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes (with my basic adjustments included below)

Makes: 10 – 12

You will need
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
12 large strawberries, chopped into small pieces
200g digestive biscuits
12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
6 strawberries, halved, for decorating
For the frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and the unsalted butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. I used my fingers to help mix it in.

2. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Spoon the cupcake mixture into the cups until two-thirds full, then drop in strawberry pieces and twirl around into the mixture. I used a toothpick to push some down and get them really all over in the cupcake.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the icing sugar and the butter together until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

6. Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor. Process until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cold, pipe the cream cheese frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of finely ground biscuits, as well as a strawberry for decoration.

Side Note: Because these cupcakes have fresh strawberry in and on them, they do not keep fresh for very long. The fruit starts to go off, so best gobble these up in a day or two…

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