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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

I have been soaking up the last little bit of spring here in Virginia Beach before the summer heat hits us. I went to the local Farmers Market to get fresh fruit and I came home with a couple of trays of the most amazingly fragrant and sweet Pungo strawberries. Some of the strawberries went into the freezer and a lot of them went into these beautiful cupcakes. Although this recipe for the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream is a little challenging, let me assure you that it is well worth the effort. The buttercream is silky smooth and sweet and the cupcakes are soft and fluffy. This recipe is a keeper. Enjoy!

Making strawberry cupcakes

Making strawberry cupcakes

It is important to pay attention to the details in these two recipes. When measuring out the strawberries for the cupcakes they should be finely chopped, however, when measuring out the strawberries for the buttercream they are coarsely chopped, it makes a difference in the finished weight of strawberries you’ll end up with. I would have measured the strawberries for you but my scale finally gave out on me. When making this frosting make sure you are accurate, not generous, with the amount of strawberries you end up using for the buttercream.

Coarsely chopped strawberries. Strawberry puree and other ingredients. Starting to beat egg whites and sugar over waterbath. Finished beating, making sure they are completely smooth between your fingers. Beating meringue to a stiff, shiny peak. Finished buttercream.

Coarsely chopped strawberries. Strawberry puree and other ingredients. Starting to beat egg whites and sugar over waterbath. Finished beating, making sure the egg whites feel completely smooth between your fingers. Beating meringue to a stiff, shiny peak. Finished buttercream.

Strawberry Cupcakes (makes 34)

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large whole eggs plus 1 egg white, at room temperature

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and finely chopped, plus 10 more for garnish if desired

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream Frosting (makes 5 cups)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), cut into tablespoons, room temperature

Directions for Strawberry Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until  thick and smooth. Add whole eggs and the egg white one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, beating until well combined. Add chopped strawberries to the batter and fold them in by hand.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating tins half-way through, until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of cupcake come out clean. Place tins on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn cupcakes onto rack and allow to cool completely.

Directions for Strawberry Meringue Buttercream:

Puree strawberries in a blender and set aside. In the bowl of your stand-mixer, combine egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a cooking pot with a small amount of simmering water. Whisk egg whites and sugar constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between two fingers).

Attach the bowl to stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing speed to medium-high mix until stiff and shiny (not dry) peaks form, 10 to 15 minutes. Mixture should now have cooled down (test by touching bottom of bowl). With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter have been added, scrape down sides of bowl and switch to the paddle attachment. Continue to beat on low speed for 2 minutes to eliminated air bubbles. Add strawberry puree and beat until combined.

Cupcake assembly:

Load buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip. Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake. Store cupcakes in an airtight container in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Buttercream storage:

Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

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Cornflakes Tops with Strawberries and Nougat

I don’t get into the hype of Valentine’s Day but for those of you looking for a quick and easy little treat to serve for your loved ones, these Cornflakes Tops are just that. I realize of course that nougat is not readily available in the grocery stores in the States, so I purchase it online and to me it’s well worth the effort. But if you don’t want the trouble of having to purchase something online, simply just leave the Nougat out of the recipe and add a little more chocolate instead. The Nougat adds a slightly nutty flavor to the chocolate and the freeze-dried strawberries gives it a sweet yet tangy sensation.  I love how every bite of these Cornflakes Tops stay crunchy. The cornflakes are perfect for holding its crispness even after they have been smothered with chocolate. I hope you enjoy these lovely little bites as much as we did. 🙂

Cornflakes Tops with Strawberries and Nougat

Ingredients:

7 oz semi-sweet chocolate (200 grams)

3.5 oz nougat (100 grams)

2 oz cornflakes, original (60 grams)

5/8 oz freeze-dried strawberries (15 grams), plus more for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Give dried strawberries a rough chop and place in a bowl with cornflakes. Over a warm water bath, melt nougat and chocolate. Remove bowl from water bath and pour chocolate over cornflakes and chopped strawberries. Stir gently but thoroughly to ensure dry ingredients are completely covered with chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of cornflakes into little haystack shapes. Top with additional finely chopped strawberries and place in refrigerator for two hours to cool and set. To store, keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

Nougat

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