There are few things on earth I love more than cilantro and strawberries. Not necessarily together, mind you, though that might be worth trying….
As a kid, I ate strawberries right out of our garden – even when they were slightly green. (I was weird. Still am.) When given a choice of ice cream flavors, I’d pass up chocolate every time and pick strawberry. I still do.
OK, you get it. I dig strawberries. So, for my totally out of control birthday dessert bar (err, round table — there was an incident), obviously I had to make strawberry cupcakes.
To make sure I actually got to eat one at my party, I carried that sweet little confection around for an hour until I was ready to eat it. It went everywhere with me as I table-hopped like that stupid garden gnome in Amelie.
So, here’s how you make these round bits of heaven:
The strawberry cupcake recipe can be found on Martha Stewart’s site here. (I recommend following the instructions precisely — especially when it comes to sifting the flour and using eggs and butter at room temperature. It makes a big difference.)
The recipe is actually from Sprinkles, the famous Beverly Hills bakery that Barbra Streisand frequents. (True story.) Since I don’t necessarily care for the sweet butter cream frostings they often use (or any butter cream for that matter), I invented my own strawberry mascarpone frosting.
The recipe is below.
Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
1/3 C strawberries, finely chopped
1/3 C powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of kosher salt
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz mascarpone
Blend strawberries, 1/3 C powdered sugar, salt, and lemon juice in food processer. Allow the mixture to sit for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, blend the cream cheese and butter with the paddle attachment of your mixer. Add 1 1/4 C of powdered sugar and blend completely. (Sifting the sugar prevents large clumps from forming in your frosting. It’s worth the extra effort.) Add vanilla and the strawberry puree. Mix to blend. Add the mascarpone and blend on low speed. (You have to be careful not to beat the mascarpone too much because it curdles if you do.)
Place the frosting in the refrigerator until it is the proper consistency for spreading. (About 15-20 minutes.)
Note: Because the recipe calls for strawberry puree, the frosting cannot sit out too long or it will lose some of its firmness. It’s best to frost the cupcakes shortly before serving or keep them covered and refrigerated.
And now back to my thank you notes because this spoiled birthday brat got lots of loot.