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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Super Scrummy Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes


Wimbledon may be over, but the nations love for Strawberries and Cream is still running high!  These gorgeous cupcakes contain the two most loved Summer ingredients and have a secret jammy surprise - easy to make and sure to go down a storm!

Ingredients - Makes 12 Cupcakes

115g Caster Sugar
115g Self Raising Flour
115g Margarine (or butter)
2 Medium Eggs
1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
Strawberry Jam

284ml Double or Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
50g Sieved Icing Sugar
6 Strawberries to decorate

Equipment

Apple Corer
Syringe / Plunger Icing Set
12 Cupcake Wrappers
Ice Cream Scoop
Electric Whisk
Metal Cupcake Tin
Scales
Sieve
Wooden Spoon
Mixing Bowl

Directions

Preheat the oven to 170° celsius

In a bowl measure out 115g margarine - this should be at room temperature.  If like me you've forgotten to take it out of the fridge early, nuke the measured amount in the microwave (high setting) for 10 seconds.  Measure out 115g caster sugar and tip into the bowl with margarine.

Starting on a slow setting (feel free to hit high if you want your kitchen decorated in margarine) start to cream the margarine and sugar together.  Gradually increase the speed until the mixture is light and fluffy!  Whisk in 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Sieve 115g self raising flour and set aside.  Crack one egg into the bowl and add one heaped tablespoon of the flour, whisk on a medium setting until fully mixed - repeat with the final egg.  Mix in the remainder of the flour and whisk on a high setting for two minutes.

Place the 12 wrappers in the cupcake tin.  Using the ice cream scoop divide the cake mixture between the 12 cases.



Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes - baking times are never an exact science, so they may take slightly longer (or shorter) just remove when lightly brown and they spring back from the touch.

If like me you have some home grown strawberries, now would be the time to pick them :)


I can highly recommend growing your own - the humble strawberry is pretty hardy, and these organic ones were divine!  Was slightly worried as they seem to be a much deeper red than store bought, but I think it is just the strain :)



Store bought ones are also fine :) wash your strawberries and leave them to dry until you need them.

Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven and turn out onto a wire cooling rack.  You will need to wait until they are fully cooled before the next stage - this can take 1-2 hours.


Using the apple corer, carefully hollow out the middle of the cupcake.  Don't throw this away!  They are perfect for snacking on, or you could use them to make a mini batch of cake truffles :) Be careful not to go all the way through the cupcake - you want to aim or about 2/3 of the way down.



Fill the syringe with jam (I found a smooth, no bits jam works best!) and then pipe into the hollows.  Be careful not to over-fill, you should aim to have them flush with the cake.


Pour your cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl and start to whisk.  Again start on a low speed or else you will end up wearing your bake.  Once the cream is starting to thicken, add in the sieved icing sugar - carry on whipping until you achieve firm peeks.  It's very easy to over-whip so when you see the cream is starting to hold it's own shape, you should knock the whisk speed right down again.

Using a piping bag decorate the top of the cakes with the cream mixture, paying extra attention that the jam opening is fully covered - it is supposed to be a 'surprise' after all ;) If you don't have a piping bag, you can always spoon the cream onto the cake - just be careful when placing over the jam or else it may show through.

Your strawberries should now be nice and dry, so remove the top and cut in half.  Then press lightly into the cream on your cupcake.

Because these are made with fresh cream they should be stored in the fridge - the sponge will go slightly hard when chilled, simply take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes and allow it to come to room temperature before serving - light and fluffy once more :)

Boil kettle, make a cup of tea and enjoy the fruits of your labor!





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