Monday, June 25, 2012

NOW What Am I Supposed To Do??

A week, then two went by and I kept having this feeling I should be doing something … baking something … you know … cupcakes.  But I don't HAVE to now!  I tried not to, but finally I couldn't stop myself.  I made more cupcakes.  I'm really enjoying it.  Nothing like having an incredibly high calorie, totally bad for you hobby! 

There a a LOT of cupcake recipes bookmarked and pages marked that still need to be baked!  They've all been put aside until after the wedding … which is now … so ...

Where to start?  Well it just so happens that I had some fresh strawberries that I needed to use up.   It's summer and it's time to enjoy fresh produce!

I picked up a Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication about cupcakes a few months ago and many of the recipes are from cupcake bloggers.   The recipe I chose was apparently adapted from Cupcakes Take The Cake  - the Vanilla Very Berry Cupcakes.  Now that I've made the recipe, I wish I'd thought to use the recipe directly from the website because it's written just enough differently that I might not have goofed it up … except that apparently my goof turned out good.  LOL

When I realized my screw up,  I just started improvising.  I mean, I was almost done with the cupcake recipe and didn't want to throw it out.  Basically, what I did was after setting aside the berries for garnish, I went straight to "thoroughly mash" without stopping at "lightly mash".  Don't really know why … maybe I was just feeling a bit aggressive, but I did a pretty good smoosh job on the berries. 

The recipe said to place a tablespoon of the batter in the bottom of each of the cupcake liners, which I did.  (I used the (Pink) Reynolds StayBrite™ Baking Cups left from my earlier experiment.)  And then, 1 teaspoon of the berries on top of that, followed by enough batter to properly fill the cup.  Then I baked them.  They came out of the oven looking absolutely beautiful! 

It is at this point that the recipe says to "thoroughly mash" the berries, add sugar, and cook them to thicken then use as filling for the cupcakes.  Since I had already put a spoonful of mangled berries in the cupcakes, I was afraid more squishy berry filling might just end up a mess.  So, I decided to get extreme and put them through a fine strainer to remove most of the seeds and blueberry skins and then mixed that into the frosting.  Both the original recipe in the blog and the recipe in the BH&G publication said to frost with buttercream frosting.   I wasn't thrilled with the BH&G "Classic Buttercream" recipe because it requires eggs and cooking.  So, I chose their "Butter Frosting" recipe, added the smooshed and strained berries and added more powdered sugar to make it piping consistency.  (As it turned out, I should have added a little more.)  They came out so pretty with the berries added to the top, but I thought it needed something and ran out to the garden and snipped some lemon balm leaves to add.

Hubby loved the cupcakes, but for some reason I thought they were dry.  I think that is simply because I was so used to the extremely moist, dense cupcakes I've been making for the wedding.  Hubby took all but 6 of the cupcakes to work with him and the report was …. Wait for it …

They liked these better than all the others!   LOL  I hope all my goofed up recipes come out this well!

Butter Berry Frosting

3/4    Cup butter, softened
2        lb. Powdered Sugar
1/3    Cup Milk
2        tsp Vanilla
1/4   Cup "Thoroughly Mashed" and strained berries - (I used strawberries, red raspberries, and blueberries)

Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until  light and fluffy.   Beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, then the milk and vanilla.   Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar.  Slowly beat in the berry mixture until frosting is  the right consistency to pipe (or spread).  If more liquid is needed add a bit of milk or more of the berry mixture.

For the record, these cupcake wrappers did not peel!  The cupcake recipe has buttermilk but no egg whites.  I'm starting to think the culprit for the peeling problem is recipes with only egg whites.

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