Baking Tales

Berry Inspired Cupcakes

I couldn’t resist slipping in that pun. You can take it however you want it – cupcakes inspired by berries, or just cupcakes that are berry inspiring, haha!

So remember when I said that the gelato I had in Italy got me thinking about some flavour combinations for desserts? Well, I channeled that inspiration into some cupcake-baking!

To jog your memory, I was first very impressed by the lovely combination of pistachio & raspberry.

Pistachio & Raspberry! Best combi ever!
Pistachio & Raspberry gelato that I enjoyed in Milan

That caused me to google for ‘pistachio raspberry cupcakes’ when I got back to Melbourne. And voila, I came to this recipe.

These ingredients actually weren't cheap but oh, just to satisfy my curiosity - how good would they taste in cupcakes?
These ingredients weren’t cheap but oh, just to satisfy my curiosity – how good would they taste in cupcakes?

I liked how the recipe incorporated white chocolate into it for that little touch indulgence – pistachio and raspberry just seem too healthy on their own don’t they!

And here they are!

Pistachio & Raspberry cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
Pistachio & Raspberry cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

And yes, my guess was right – the combination worked for me even in cupcakes!

Love the raspberry surprise in the middle!
Love the nutty texture of the cake and raspberry surprise in the middle!

I guess the only thing that I wasn’t a big fan of was that the cake turned out a little dry. If I were to make this again, I would consider turning down the temperature to 180 degrees celcius instead of the recipe’s 200 degrees. I might even use a different cake base recipe (like the 1 I’m about to share below!) to make it more moist.

It was quite a simple recipe and I only made a couple of changes to it. You can just follow the link if you are interested in making them yourself or if you want my adapted recipe, let me know!

***

So the next combination that inspired me was this:

My last gelato - Stracciatella & strawberry
Stracciatella & strawberry gelato

Basically, stracciatella is the Italian’s version of chocolate chip ice cream, but a smoother version. I enjoyed this combination very much and this immediately leaped to my mind when I came across a recipe for Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes!

Let's get baking!
Let’s get baking!

The idea of using fresh strawberry puree sounded too good to resist and thinking of how to incorporate the Stracciatella element, I decided to modify the recipe a little and make it Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (with a little something extra 🙂 )

Because I actually remembered to take pictures, let’s go into the process shall we?

Step 1: Load up the food processor with 4-5 strawberries

DSCN3960

Pureed Strawberries - it smelt so good!
Pureed Strawberries – it smelt so good!

Step 2: Pre-heat oven to 180degree Celcius. Do your cake mix at the same time. 

Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Followed by melted butter, sugar, egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract
Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Followed by melted butter, sugar, egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract
Adding in the strawberry puree
Adding in the strawberry puree

Step 3 – Divide cupcake batter (this would make 12 cupcakes)

The batter itself was delish!
The batter itself was delish!

Step 4 – Pop cupcakes into oven to bake for 20minutes. Make frosting in the meantime.

Okay, this is the part where things got a little messy and I forgot to take pictures (bad blogger alert!).  But basically, here is what I did for the frosting:

  • Melt white chocolate (100g) in a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water
  • Mix half a block of softened cream cheese (125g) with 40g of butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract and the melted white chocolate

AND THEN… a sudden revelation came to me…

If I want to keep to the theme of FRESH strawberries and since strawberries go so well with white chocolate, why not add more strawberry puree to the frosting??

So I added another step to the frosting:

  • Puree 3 strawberries (as many as you want!) and add it to the frosting mix

Woo! Here goes nothing….

Step 5 – Remove cupcakes from oven. Use a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean to ensure that it was thoroughly baked

Fresh out of the oven! I used a toothpick & made sure it came out clean to ensure that it was thoroughly baked
Fresh out of the oven! It smelt soooo strawberryish

Step 6 – Pipe on the frosting! 

Yes yes I know I need to work on my piping skills... sigh
Yes yes I know I need to work on my piping skills… sigh

And of course, I had to make it look Stracciatella-like so I dusted on some flakes of Lindt Strawberry Intense (of course, it doesn’t have to be strawberry-flavoured but I found that  the strawberryish dark choc flakes helped to bring out the strawberry theme!).

Fresh strawberry cupcakes with my version of a straticella frosting!
Fresh strawberry cupcakes with my version of a Stracciatella frosting!

So how did the recipe work out? Well, let me just put it out there that this is my favourite cupcake recipe so far. The cakes retained a moist texture and I reckon this makes a good cake base recipe.

Needless to say, the strawberries could be tasted throughout the cupcakes and I thought that the frosting was a great combination of flavours. Note that I didn’t add extra sugar to the frosting so all the sweetness came from the white chocolate and strawberry puree 🙂

What a Berry Inspired Cupcake indeed! Hehe.

All right, here’s the recipe below with the list of ingredients. I’ve already taken you through the method so just scroll up again to refer to the steps!

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 12) 

(adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Ingredients

CUPCAKES

  • 4-5 large strawberries
  • 1 and 2/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon (218g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (62g) strawberry yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING*

  • 3 large strawberries
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g baking white chocolate
  • Some dark chocolate to cut up later & add some finesse 😉

*I found that this makes more than enough frosting for 12 cupcakes so I would advise that you reduce the portions a little, to avoid wastage. 

So there you have it – 2 batches of Berry Inspired Cupcakes, as inspired by my foodies adventures in Europe! I haven’t been baking recently but who knows when inspiration will strike again? We’ll see!

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