Monday, June 17, 2013

Chocolate Cupcake with Strawberry Buttercream

The last couple posts have been fairly healthy; a couple salads and a pasta salad. Even the smoked wings are fairly healthy except for the ranch dip, perhaps. Alas, I'm here to post a so not healthy recipe but it's a so very good recipe!! Recently, a friend turned 35, and I offered to bring something for her celebration. I was told that if I brought one of my baked goodies they would be very happy. I found out that our friend loves chocolate and strawberries. I've seen several recipes floating around for cupcakes with strawberry frosting, and I thought it would be the perfect thing to bake. I decided to use this chocolate cupcake recipe. But, I shouldn't have started cleaning my bathtub while the cupcakes were baking, because they ended up a tad overbaked. Doh! I don't think anyone noticed. Hopefully. I found the strawberry buttercream from Sweet Lavender Bake Shop. It was quite scrumptious. Granted, the recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter! Yowza! Alas, this isn't a frosting you want to make every day, but once a year should suffice. Overall, I think the cupcakes were a big hit. The birthday girl approved, too! Enjoy!

Cupcake Batter:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Strawberry Buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 sticks unsalted butter, almost room temp (cut into little cubes)
2 tsp vanilla extract
½-1 whole vanilla bean
3/4 cup fresh strawberry puree macerated with 2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Set aside. Take the bowl from your standing mixture and add in the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix together to combine. Take a medium sized bowl and add in your buttermilk, vegetable oil (I used canola oil), eggs, and vanilla. Stir. Slowly add the liquids to the dry ingredients while the speed of the mixture is on low. Once combined; slowly add in the coffee. Now, I was pretty concerned because the mixture was very liquidy (sorry, just made up a new word). Have no fear; just pour the mixture directly into your prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a couple cupcakes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Now to make the strawberry buttercream; take out your blender and puree the strawberries. I used a pint of fresh strawberries. Measure out 3/4 of the strawberry puree and pour into a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp of sugar. Stir and set aside. Next, get out a medium sized saucepan and add water about half way. Bring to a boil. Add the bowl from your standing mixer to the saucepan to create a double boiler. Add the egg whites and sugar and whisk constantly until the sugar melts. This should only take a couple minutes if that. Remove the standing mixer and attach it back to the mixer. Attach your wire whisk and whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This takes about 10 minutes. Make sure they egg whites have cooled by touching the bottom of the bowl. Next, one square at a time add the butter into the egg whites. Continue to do this until the butter is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and the vanilla bean. Lastly, add the strawberry puree to the mixture. Stir until full incorporated. Filly a pastry bag with a large star attachment and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

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