One of the associates at work hosted a potluck over the weekend, so inevitably I volunteered to bring cupcakes (in fact, it was a bake off between this associate and myself, and I’m fairly certain her cupcakes won, but that shouldn’t be further spoken of). I decided to go for the expimental, and came up with the idea of strawberry and white-chocolate cupcakes with a champagne frosting. Thinking myself quite original, I went searching the internet for a cake recipe to use, when I came upon this. Having found it, I used Cupcake Project’s strawberry cupcakes recipe, but with a few modifications. I changed the frosting over to my champagne meringue. And for the cakes, I added white chocolate chips. To increase the strawberry flavor, I also added powdered strawberry to the cake recipe. I can’t say for sure if this made a difference, other than adding some nice color, but I have a feeling it made the cakes a little stronger. To make strawberry powder, I got some freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s, which I then crushed into a powder.
When I baked these, I followed the instructions, let them bake for 20 minutes, put in a tester, and took them out of the oven. I let them cool, and decided to eat one, only to discover that it was raw in the center. Panicked, I put the cupcakes back in the oven for about another 10 minutes. They did eventually get fully baked, and for the next bath I increased the time. Nonetheless, I would test multiple cakes before taking these guys out of the oven. I didn’t have any cake flour here in DC, so I used all purpose in its place without a problem.
Makes 24 cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and strawberry powder with an electric mixer.
3. Add eggs. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix until combined.
4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
5. Stir in strawberries and white chocolate chips.
6. Fill cupcake liners using a quarter cup measure (half to two-thirds full). Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are golden and testers come out clean. Let cool.
Champagne Meringue Frosting
6 T egg white Powder
2/3 cup extra-dry Champagne
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar (to taste)
1. Measure ¾ of champagne (this can be tricky because of the foam). Pour the egg white powder into a large bowl, and add the champagne. Use an electric mixer at high speed to whip the mixture until it becomes foamy. Add the sugar two Tbs at a time (until the taste gets where you like it) and beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
2. Frost cupcakes, lightly torch frosting with a culinary torch, or under the broiler.