Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some Days Are Made For...


What's great is that everyone loves a cupcake (or two!). Bake some and frost them any how you like it and finish it off with additional topping of your choice. It's all so versatile and easy to handle. And of course, they're really really fun to make! I especially enjoy and love the decoration part of it.

These lovely moist chocolate cupcakes with delicious strawberry frosting were actually made over two months ago for my co-workers for a little tea time treat we had in the office. So this is actually my long overdue recipe post.

The cake here is an old recipe of moist chocolate cake I found hand-written in my old trusty recipe notebook. I made it into cupcakes and instead of using plain vanilla butter cream for frosting, I decided to give it a strawberry twist instead. I pureed about 2 cups of fresh strawberries and then strained out the juice before mixing in with the butter cream. And the result was....delicious!! It really made a difference to the normal butter cream. One can't argue that chocolate and strawberry make oh such a wonderful pairing!

Chocolate cupcake:

180 g butter
340 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp instant coffee granules, dissolve this with 1 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water

Sieve together:
240 g plain flour
75 g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

~ Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, and then add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between.
~ Combine brandy, vanilla, dissolved coffee granules and the hot water together, stirring it well.
~ Fold in flour mixture alternately with the coffee liquid to the creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture. Mix well in between flour and liquid.
~ Mix everything well together. Fill up to a maximum 3/4 full in each cupcake liner/case that is fitted in a muffin pan. Bake at 150 deg C for around 40 minutes (depending on your oven) or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
~ Cool the cupcakes completely before icing them.

Strawberry butter cream:

2 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted icing sugar

~ In a mini blender or food processor, puree the strawberries. Strain/squeeze (can use a muslin cloth) out excess juice (it need not be too dry, just as long as the excess juice is rid off)
~ Cream the butter, shortening, and icing sugar till fluffy. Add in the blended strawberry. Mix really well.
~ Fill up a piping bag with large star nozzle and pipe out a circular swirl on each cupcake. Topped with half of a fresh strawberry for a more luscious and tempting look.

(Add more icing sugar for a stiffer frosting if you prefer)