Monday, January 26, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

strawberry cupcakes

Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever. - The Beatles


strawberry cupcakes

Hmm.. unfortunately, I believe that most things are real and there are lots of things that we do get hung about, but today, I just wanted to say that despite all that, there is so much to celebrate! Like my friend Helen's birthday! Life might not be strawberry fields forever, but there definitely are sweet moments to delight in!

strawberry cupcakes

Happy birthday to Helen! She's so special to me because it's not about the outwardly appearance or words that make our relationship, but the heart-to-heart connection. We've gone through a lot over the years, and she's blessed my life in lots of ways. It wasn't the good times that brought us closer but the tears and hurts that let us open up. I think that kind of friendship is so precious and priceless.

strawberry cupcakes

So in light of that, I've baked some cupcakes for her--I guess I've sorta made myself the designated baker for parties. She loves my strawberry cheesecake, but I hadn't had enough time to bake it, so I went with strawberry cupcakes. It was a compromise: it had strawberries and cream cheese in it! I found a FANTASTIC recipe from speedM on Flickr. The icing tasted literally like Strawberry Haagen Daaz ice cream, or Strawberry Pocky!

strawberry cupcakes

It was simple to make and just gorgeous! I'm actually a huge non-fan of strawberries. I don't like em at all. I love fruits but strawberries--blegh. But these cupcakes were great. I'm glad I tried this recipe! You should too! As for decoration, I didn't want to do a typical strawberry topping, so I did a modern looking chocolate piece. I just melted the white chocolate and spread it thin, dusted some cocoa powder on it, then froze it, then broke it into pieces. It was nice against the pale pink of the frosting.

Strawberry Cupcakes

makes one dozen


ingredients

STRAWBERRY SAUCE
2 cups of fresh strawberries, cut in half and stem removed
sugar to taste

CUPCAKES
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strawberry sauce
1/4 cup milk

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 ounces or 1 package of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
approximately 1/4 cup of strawberry sauce


directions

STRAWBERRY SAUCE
1. Soak strawberries with about 1-2 tbs sugar for 15 minutes. Put strawberries in a small saucepan and heat under medium heat with lid on. Cook strawberries for approximately 15 minutes till strawberries cook down and become soft and saucy. Adjust sweetness with sugar until you get the desired sweetness. With a blender, puree until you get the desired smoothness or chunkiness. Cool before using in recipe.

CUPCAKES
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers. Whisk flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Measure out milk and strawberry sauce together. Set aside.
2. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
3. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine. Add about one third the milk/strawberry sauce mixture and beat until combined. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes). Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add half of the sugar, beat until combined. Add strawberry sauce until you achieve the right color and flavor, making sure not to add too much or the frosting will be too soft. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.



strawberry cupcakes

22 comments:

  1. These look fantastic! I do like strawberries and can't wait to give these a try! My mouth is watering looking at those chocolate pieces!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, these cupcakes look so beautiful and delicious. I love the photos-everything looks so serene and pretty. I can't wait to try the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. They look great. I loved the chocolate piece you created for the top. Happy b-day to your friend Helen.
    ~ingrid

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sarah, those look adorable. I love strawberries, and I don't know how you could not!! First of all, they are so pretty, and when you get the fresh ripe ones from the farmers market, they taste ten times sweeter :) But to each their own!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Strawberry cupcakes are my absolute favorite! I just bookmarked this for Valentine's Day. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those are so pretty and they look delicious! They would be great for valentines day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These look perfect! Lovely combination and great presentation!

    ReplyDelete
  8. thanks everyone!!
    your compliments mean soo much to me! :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. can i order a dozen for valentine's?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am new here, found your link at Tastespotting.....

    http://www.tastespotting.com/

    what a terrific blog. Love it! The strawberry cupcakes will be tried next week!

    ReplyDelete
  11. These look fantastic. Lucky friend you have. The cream cheese frosting really tops this off nicely. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beautiful cupcakes! I can just taste the strawberry by looking at them!
    One question: can you use frozen strawberries for the frosting? I have a lot of strawberries in the freezer that i picked this summer, and would love to use them.

    Thanks
    Laura N.
    Finland

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks everyone! I was lucky to stumble upon this recipe on flickr! I hope everyone of you give it a try. If you love Haagen daaz strawberry ice cream, you will surely love this one!
    Laura: I'm pretty sure you can use frozen strawberries. I guess you can defrost it first, and then macerate (soak them) in sugar and then go on with the boiling. Frozen fruits always work wonderfully, so I'm sure this is the same. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. fantastic recipe! thanks for sharing. i'm gonna leave this on my Macbook all day and make these for valentine's :) thanks a million. u're a lifesaver. x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, these cupcakes look SO pretty and delicious! I am thinking about making these for my two year old's b-day party. Can I bake them and frost them the night before and just let it come to room temp before serving? The party is at 10:00 am and me being a novice baker, am not sure I can do any baking/frosting with my daughter around. Any advice will be appreciated! Kate

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi kate!
    you can definitely baked the cupcakes the night before. with the frosting, some people are kinna iffy about leaving it out because it has cream cheese in it, but personally i found it to be totally fine -- especially if it's going to be eaten the morning after. i most definitely think you can just do them ahead of time.

    a word of advice with these strawberry babies? make sure you don't put too much sauce into the frosting!! i know the recipe calls for about 1/4 cup, but i would start tablespoon by tablespoon until you get the right consistency. the thing about cream cheese frosting is that it gets really runny sometimes, so you gotta watch out!

    thanks again kate! good luck and hope it works out for you!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks! Maybe I will refrigerate the frosted cupcakes and bring to room temp before the party just to make sure since they will be eaten by toddlers. Thanks for your tips, I am sure my half-Korean (you are Korean, right?) baby will love them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just made them and they are delicious! They don't look as pretty as yours, they look rather "homemade" but still delectable. Thanks for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just made the frosting last night... WOW! I changed the recipe a little bit by making chocolate batter instead of strawberry batter. Once they were baked and cooled I piped some of the strawberry sauce into the cupcake and then frosted with your incredible strawberry frosting. :) Again, WOW... it was a hit! Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I thought it was an excellent blog, that information has been very helpful in my life, I am a strawberries lover, so I really enjoyed this reading, the strawberries taste is so delicious! Thanks for this great moment!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I didn't use all the strawberry puree, I kept adding sugar, but my frosting still didn't turn out that stiff and would melt as soon as I apply it on the cupcakes (which I had left overnight to cool down). I can never get the frosting right, any advice?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Raminta I faced the same problem. Please help :(

    ReplyDelete