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I would say that I am curious, vivacious, gregarious, sometimes funny, intelligent, easy going, very passionate about the things I love, caring, thoughtful, and kind. Maybe that is a little over the top, but I think you can count on me to be very honest. LOL

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It’s A Strawberry Party…..

Today with fresh strawberries on the counter, I decided it was time to perfect my cupcake skills.   Always to dry, or under cooked, or with a big dip in the center was how it has been with my previous attempts.   After many hours of research as to why I couldn’t make them come out just like the “Cupcake Wars'”  I DID IT………………Sweet, moist, and they didn’t fall apart.  

For the Cupcake……….

2/3 cup fresh whole strawberries
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
Place strawberries in a food processor; process until pureed.  You should have about 1/3 cup of puree; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set both aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer will work just fine too), cream butter on med-high speed, until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes.)  Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add the egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended.  Add the strawberry mixture; mix until just blended.  Repeat with remaining flour and strawberry sauce, scraping down the sides as needed until well blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. The trick here is to not over fill the muffin cups, overfilling will cause them to sink in the middle!

Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool before icing.


Now for the icing…it is absolutely incredible   SERIOUSLY!!!

6 tablespoon Flour
1 cup milk (whole milk is best, but I use non-fat when it’s all I have and it’s actually fine)
1 cup real butter (I prefer salted, but you can use also unsalted and add salt to taste)
1cup sugar (that’s granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. Smash any flour lumps with a rubber spatula to keep mixture smooth.  Keep cooking mixture until it resembles thick pudding, almost a paste-like consistency.

Put this mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. As it’s cooling, feel free to stir it occasionally to speed up the process and keep it from forming a crust on top.  When it is chilled, you can move on to the following step.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Don’t be scared. It’s going to look like a goopy mess and kind of lumpy and separated. 

But you just wait. It’s gonna blow your mind in a few minutes. Beat on med-high until it comes together and becomes light and fluffy.  It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

It will transform from that sloppy mess into something gorgeous, fluffy, and incredibly light and silky.  If the time has passed and it still looks like a hot mess, just keep on beating and it should eventually come together.  Feel the mixture between two fingers to see if the sugar granules have dissolved; if not, just beat a little longer.  Use it to fill or frost cupcakes, cakes or other pastries. You can’t go wrong putting this on just about anything….just a spoon works well for me!

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