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Friday, 24 May 2013

Say Cheese


Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

I recently bought a few boxes of strawberries on my weekly jaunt to the supermarket and found, rather surprisingly, that they did actually taste like strawberries!

An odd thing to say perhaps, but I do tend to feel that fruits and vegetables grown out of season never really live up to our expectations, and often have no taste what so ever.

These particular strawberries were on offer, and in view of the fact we are still waiting for Spring to really arrive let alone Summer, I thought they may cheer everyone up a bit. So in the basket they went.

The first batch were simply washed, smothered in cream and scoffed by the Busy Bee household, and I have to confess they went down extremely well.
Therefore the second lot were reserved for a bit of fun.

I trawled through my collection of recipe books (which seems to be growing steadily at the minute, but that's another story), and came across this recipe in the trusty Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.
I have used this book many times and all the recipes have always been delicious.
I have tweaked the recipe slightly to suit the Busy Bee clan, but in essence the recipe is the same.
This particular recipe seemed to leap out at me, as it made me think of Summer, and sunnier, warmer times in the past.
Fingers crossed we will see some of that yellow stuff in the sky soon.

You will need :

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
40g unsalted butter at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
12 large strawberries chopped into small pieces
150g  digestive biscuits crushed into crumbs

For the Cream Cheese topping you will need :
300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g cream cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 170c / 150c fan / Gas 3.

2.Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt (if using) until combined.

4. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer until all the ingredients are well mixed.

5. Add the egg and beat for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

6. (Now this is where I have found the recipe benefited from a little tweaking), mix the chopped strawberries into the mixture gently and divide into the cupcake cases. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.

Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tray before lifting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

6. To make the cream cheese frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric whisk until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, for approximately 5 minutes.
Be careful not to over beat, as it can quickly become runny.

7. Add the vanilla frosting onto the top of each cupcake and finish with a sprinkle of the crushed digestive biscuits.

I found the cakes needed to be kept in the fridge once completed as the frosting will turn very soft and a little unpleasant when eating. The texture seemed a little off putting when they were too warm.
In the fridge they will keep for 5-6 days, but as usual, 2 days max. is the lifespan in our house.
A cup of tea was the perfect accompaniment to this little piece of heaven in a cupcake case.

I hope you enjoy baking these, and eating them even more.

Enjoy your day. 


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