Slow-Roasted Strawberry Cupcakes

Do any of you watch The Next Food Network Star? I used to, religiously. (And then I had a baby…) Two years ago one of the contestants (Mary Beth) made a Roasted Strawberry Cupcake with a Red Wine-Balsamic Buttercream. The judges loved it…and so did I. I tweeted her immediately and asked her to post the recipe but…ahem…she hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

So I had to make up my own version.

I kept it kid-friendly, so my frosting is a bit different. But don’t limit these to the kids table — the slow-roasted strawberries make these fresh and sophisticated enough for a sweet summer (adult) party. Here’s a pic right before they go in the oven to get all happy:

I adapted this recipe from Sprinkles strawberry cupcake recipe. You can do the slow-roasting days in advance and keep the puree in the fridge. I do extra and freeze it. The slow-roasting is so worth it, especially in the frosting. The cupcakes themselves are not overly strawberryish — just lightly perfumed. For the frosting I go all out and add lots of roasted berry puree.

Hope you like these berry, berry much!

Slow-Roasted Strawberry Cupcakes

Slow-Roasted Strawberry Cupcakes

Ingredients

18-20 fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (don't skip the sift, I know you want to)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature

puree from above (1/3 cup)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 large egg whites, room temperature

Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold

Pinch of coarse salt

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

reserved puree from above (3-7 tablespoons, to taste, I used 7)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place the berries in an 8x8 glass pan (as shown). Dot with butter and sprinkle brown sugar over top.

Bake at 200 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours, or until berries are very soft. Pour mixture (including the juices) into a blender and puree. Let cool completely (or refrigerate/freeze until ready to use).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and about 1/3 cup strawberry puree; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended. Do not overmix.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely before icing.

For the frosting:

This makes a lot of frosting. If you are not going to pipe the frosting (just spreading) you can probably half the recipe.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 to 7 tablespoons strawberry puree (Sprinkles does 3; I did 7. Mine was a little runnier but I like tangy flavor better. I could still pipe it.); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

(If you have extra puree, throw it in your yogurt tomorrow morning and thank me later. It's like strawberry crack.)

Generously pipe frosting on cupcakes and garnish with fresh strawberry slice.

http://sugarmamacooks.com/slow-roasted-strawberry-cupcakes/

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