Friday, 14 September 2012

Strawberry cupcakes

I was relieved that I had the energy to bake these cupcakes.  They were made at the end of a busy day of reorganising Sylvia's room, sorting old clothes, washing the sheets, getting the car serviced and going out to lunch with my mum.  All done following a long day at an interstate meeting.  (I still haven't recovered from a 5.30am start!)  The key was that I had leftover white chocolate and cream cheese frosting from the pina colada cake.  And it was Dolly's birthday.  Again!

The recipe presented itself without much problem.  I needed a fairly plain cupcake.  Strawberries prices have plummeted to bargain levels.  (The glut might please the consumer but not the strawberry farmers.)  When I asked Sylvia what sort of cake she wanted, she chose strawberry.  So we were agreed.

I had found a recipe in the colourful Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagnman.  I didn't follow the recipe precisely.  Almond meal and wholemeal flour replaced some of the white flour.  Brown sugar replaced the castor sugar, and was reduced.  Soy milk and lemon replaced the buttermilk.

I was surprised at the recipe claiming it made 12 cupcakes and yet it made 12 muffin sized cakes and 11 mini muffins sized cakes.  In my day cupcakes were called little cakes or fairy cakes and were far smaller than muffins.  Perhaps they are called cupcakes because they are lighter than muffins.  They are really quite plain cakes with a few juicy pockets of strawberries.  Perfect for icing.

We baked the cakes just before dinner.  While they baked, Sylvia and I enjoyed the last of the daylight on the front verandah.  She was bouncing around with Dolly on a little plastic chair.  Imagine her surprise when the chair collapsed under her.  Fortunately her friend Gordon came to visit with his mum at that point.  It distracted her from tears and stopped my giggles.

After dinner we decorated the cupcakes.  As I have said before, I am not really into iced cakes.  In fact I left the last batch of cream cheese frosting so long I had to throw it out.  I think that is why I thought I should use this one up fairly quickly.  And Sylvia does love icing and sprinkles.  She had pleaded for me to buy some cupcake papers and flags from the supermarket for Dolly's birthday.

We had fun with the decorating.  They are lovely cupcakes, though plainer than I really like.  (Quite a few have gone into the freezer.)  My frosting has become quite soft after a couple of days.  I suspect the cupcakes might last better without frosting.  Probably my preferred way to eat them.  Or just spread with some cream cheese and more fresh strawberries.   Maybe these cupcakes need more experiments.  After all strawberries are cheap and plentiful right now.

I am sending these cupcakes to the Calendar Cakes challenge.  It is hosted by Laura of Laura Loves Cakes (supported by her partner in baking, Rachel of Dolly Bakes.  This month the theme is Cupcakes in honour of the UK's National Cupcake Week.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Matthews delicious tofu - another familiar recipe
Two years ago: MLLA Holiday Pasties
Three years ago: Fruit scones, yellow and uncertainty
Four years ago: NCR: Spring Strawberry Soup

Strawberry cupcakes
Adapted from Gail Wagman's Cupcakes Galore
Makes 12 muffin sized and 11 mini muffin sized

2 tsp lemon juice
230ml soy milk
185g butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g ground almonds
100g wholemeal plain flour
175g white flour
120g brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
175g strawberries, chopped
White chocolate cream cheese frosting and sprinkles for decoration if desired

Place the lemon juice in a small bowl (or a 240 cup measure) and top with soy milk (my cup measure is 250ml so I guessed at the 240ml mark).  Set aside for 5-10 minutes for the lemon to sour the milk - it will become quite lumpy.

Preheat the oven to 180 C and use paper cases to line a 12 cup muffin pan and 11 mini muffin pan.

Meanwhile melt the butter in the microwave in a heat proof mixing bowl.  Stir in soured milk, eggs and vanilla.  Gently stir in dry ingredients and then fold in strawberries.

Fill cupcake cases with mixture.  (The recipe actually said to fill the cases 2/3 so you could make more smaller cupcakes if you wished.)  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  Ice and decorate if desired.

On the stereo:
Buenos Airies Tango: Astor Piazzolla

18 comments:

  1. I find that cupcake recipes ALWAYS make more than they claim to...it's so weird! I love the fresh flavor of these. You guys did a great job frosting!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - so it is not just me who finds cupcake recipes rarely exactly fit my tins

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  2. These cupcakes look gorgeous! My Sylvia loves decorating cupcakes too :)

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    1. Thanks Kate - decorating cupcakes is so much fun with kids

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  3. There really are strawberries everywhere for so cheap too! I don't know how you manage to fit so much into one day! :o

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - sometimes I wonder how we fit it all in and then I remember all the other stuff we were meant to be doing - sigh!

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  4. Yes - I do wonder about the size of pan some recipe makers use when writing their recipes. I like the use of fresh strawberries in the actual cupcake for this one though, sounds so summery!

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    1. Thanks Chele - I think the fresh strawberries really make these cupcakes appeal to me (much more than the frosting)

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  5. They sound lovely with the chunks of fresh strawberry. Dolly gets lots of birthday cakes :)
    Look delicious

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    1. Thanks Katie - yes Dolly always seems to have a birthday :-)

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  6. They look great. I'm with you on frosting though - too much is unpleasant. I tend to prefer my cakes without and am always pleased when I find a good cake that stands alone and doesn't need frosting. I would have been surprised to get only 12 cupcakes out of your mix - there is nearly 400g flour (or flour + nuts) there and lots of milk and all your strawberries! Those strawberries look really good too - nice and dark red.

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    1. Thanks Caroline - I admire your ability to size up the ingredients and have a feel for how many cupcakes - and I always admire your ideas for cakes without frosting

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  7. Wow, Dolly is going to get old really quickly if she keeps having birthdays. Cute cupcakes!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - Sylvia often tells me that Dolly is getting bigger and learning a lot - must be all the birthdays :-)

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  8. These are so cute...lovely and fruity too with all those strawberries. Perfectly decorated with icing and sprinkles too...perfect for children to get stuck into!! Thanks for entering these into Calendar Cakes! :-)

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    1. Thanks Laura - I love fruity cakes - not sure it balances all the frosting but we need a bit of fun too :-)

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  9. Your first photo in this post really caught my eye on my blog feed! Very pretty little cakes with all of their accessories!

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    1. Thanks Hazel - I was pleased with that photo - the accessories are a serviette and a coffee set that Sylvia is using as a kids tea set!!!

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