Good weather at least gives us a break in this cloudy winter. Besides, strawberries are now in season, what means I can only think of them (well, and of chocolate, of course!).
But ironically, now that I can use fresh strawberries… I go and bake artificially flavoured strawberry cupcakes instead of adding pureed strawberries to the dough or to the buttercream, like I’ve done before. It feels like cheating, but I had two reasons. First… I manage to ate all the strawberries before making these cupcakes (oops!); second, this recipe works all year round, as you don’t need fresh strawberries (the same principle underlying this recipe).
For these cupcakes, I have followed the recipe of basic vanilla cupcakes of the Hummingbird Bakery. It is quick and easy to perform, and it yields only 12 cupcakes (more than enough for a small family like mine). And most important: foolproof and delicious.
STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
For the cupcakes:
120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
140 g (3/4 cup) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 mL) baking powder
a pinch of salt
40 g butter (room temperature)
60 mL + 60 mL (1/4 cup + 1/4 cup) whole or semi skimmed milk
1 egg (the recipe calls for a medium egg, though I have always used large eggs and there is no big difference)
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) strawberry flavour
- Preheat the oven, 180 ºC.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) with the butter until sandy consistency (stand mixer: paddle attachment, speed 2-4, 2-3 min).
- Add 1/4 cup milk and whisk until integrated
- In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredientes (egg, vanilla and strawberry flavours, and the other 1/4 cup milk), whisk until well mixed. Then, pour into the previous mixture, and beat until incorporated and smooth (but do not overmix, just a couple of minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl in the middle).
- Divide the dough in the cupcake liners (do not fill higher than 2/3 of the height; this task is better performed with an ice cream spoon). Bake 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
For the buttercream:
160 g butter (room temperature)
20 tablespoons icing sugar (it can be more or it can be less, depending on how sweet you like the buttercream)
5 teaspoons (25 mL) milk
80 g melted white chocolate
- With the paddle attachment, beat the butter, icing sugar and milk at low-medium speed for several minutes (until light and fluffy).
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (medium power, checking and beating each 30 seconds).
- Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture (the chocolate must be slighlty warm: not too hot to melt the butter; but not too cold to solidify again). Beat until integrated and smooth.