Thursday, July 21, 2011
Oh, summer. How wonderful you are. You bring me things like beautiful strawberries, so that I can do things, like add ten pounds to Dave's coworkers' collective hips.
Dave promised his coworkers that I would bake them something as a thank you for the donations they put toward our breast cancer walk. Each coworker voted for a different cupcake from my cupcake book, and eventually it came down to this one: strawberry cupcakes.
The cake was similar to the rhubarb cupcakes I made last year - very thick and creamy. Copious amounts of Dutch butter and sugar, then vanilla, then a mixture of all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and baking soda, then milk, and then the berries.
You fold in the berries, which is a fun task. I got mine organic from Whole Foods, because strawberries are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits out there.
While they were baking, I made the frosting: strawberry buttercream. It was one of the weirdest frostings I've ever made.
First, you heat egg whites and sugar over low heat, basically until it's clear and the sugar is dissolved. Then you beat that until it's thick, white, glossy, and cooled. (If it isn't cool, the butter will melt but not incorporate.) I wish I had a photo of this, because it was really...weird. Then you beat in the butter by chunks, and then beat in strawberry purée.
I went to Dave's office with him and iced them for him on the spot, with my brand new icing tip and gear. After they were frosted, I tucked some strawberries into the mound of frosting just like in the book.
They looked as good as they tasted; very sweet and fruity, and incredibly moist. I thought about that cupcake for a few blocks after I left Dave's office. Chalk up another one to Martha.