April 29, 2012
Fluffy Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes
Jon and I live in a slightly strange world. Though, technically speaking, we all live slightly strangely.
How is our world strange? Well, one reason, among many rest assured, is the lack of a few standard American household items/gadgets in our lives. We don’t have a TV, nor a microwave, and lack smart phones.
But this is the story of the one thing I have discovered I cannot live without. The dishwasher. When I first moved in with Jon to our apartment there was no dishwasher and since we are always experimenting in the kitchen there were always lots of dishes. Slowly I started to hate those dishes more and more. It was a never ending pile. My hands would get wrinkly and I was spending over an hour per day at the sink.
After complaining to my mother she suggested getting a portable dishwasher. My family had one while we lived in Puerto Rico and it was an amazing thing to have. I suggested to Jon getting one and he vehemently said “No.” We didn’t need one he stated, we were just fine doing dishes with wrinkly hands over the sink. I sulked and continued doing the dishes.
Weeks, maybe months, passed and the story continues. By then I had been out of college and working for enough time that I had a couple of buckaroos saved in the bank. I again complained to my mother about the dishes and she went online and started looking at dishwashers. In turn I went online and started looking. That mother of mine convinced me right then and there over the phone to just buy one. No consulting Jon again, just purchase it with my own money. And I did it.
It is the best $600 I have ever spent in the entirety of my life. I love that dishwasher more than words can describe. Surprisingly, after telling Jon about my executive decision he didn’t argue but just accepted it as me being me. And very quickly after she (the dishwasher) got into our kitchen he started using her as well. And I smiled at myself and at the dishwasher. And thanked the world for modern technologies.
It is because of this dishwasher that today I am able to bring you these cupcakes, otherwise I would still be pouting around with wrinkly hands.
These cupcakes were a HIT. Some described it as angel food cake, others were simply amazed at their flufiness. This is good stuff my friends. And the whipped frosting on top is always popular. You could even experiment and mix in some strawberry jam into the frosting, so many options.
Recipe (adapted from Sweetapolita):
Cupcakes (yielded me 39 cupcakes, you can cut the recipe in half):
1 cup whole milk or half &half
4 large egg whites
1 egg, whole
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but cool, and cut into cubes
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
3/4 cup finely chopped strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Mix 1/4 cup of milk or half & half with egg whites, whole egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Set aside.
3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and shortening and mix for 30 seconds. Then add the remaining 3/4 cup of milk or half & half and mix on low speed until moistened. Then increase speed to medium and mix for 1 minute 30 seconds.
5. Now pour the egg mixture in three separate batches, running the mixer 20 seconds between each batch.
6. Finally, stir in the chopped strawberries until evenly incorporated.
7. Fill your cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes. If a toothpick comes out clean (there will still be some crumbs!) then your cupcakes are ready. Place your cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.
Whipped Frosting (frosted approx. 20 cupcakes):
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3.5 cups confectioners’/powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a medley of sprinkles for decorating
1. Blend the butter in the mixer on medium speed for 8 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (you might want to place the guard on your mixer) and mix on low for 1 minute and then on medium for 6 minutes. You should have nice fluffy frosting.
3. Frost your cupcakes with the frosting, sprinkle them with some fun sprinkles, and enjoy!