So normally I have an excuse for baking; a family get together, hosting or attending a dinner party or BBQ, a Birthday, something. Yes I know I don’t actually NEED an excuse to bake but I find personally that I do, because honestly, I’d be baking all the damn time otherwise….. and I would most likely be the size of a whale as a result!
Depressing, but true.
It’s like why I hide my chocolate stash from myself. If I don’t see it every time I open the pantry them I’m usually OK, if it’s in my face then by damn that choccie will be gone by the end of the day no doubt!…. Now don’t lie, I know you get it too.
Either way, I was in the mood for baking, and that’s all thanks to watching a movie about a chef. (If you haven’t seen Burnt with Bradley Cooper then I suggest doing so! It’s on Stan now.) It sucks though, as I love watching movies about cooks and chefs and I particularly adore watching Nigella Lawson cook, but it ALWAYS results in me in the kitchen! Good lord I’m actually saying this like it’s a bad thing! Hah!
So here I am wanting to bake something, but not wanting to have to eat it, ya know? And I couldn’t think of anyone to gift it to until hubby pipes up that the ladies at his work would love something sweet. BINGO! I didn’t even need a moment to think about what I was going to cook, because hello Spring Weather!! And spring weather means only one thing. Gorgeously red, super juicy, plump strawberries. My number one, all-time favourite fruit…. next to peaches and plums and apricots and maybe pineapple too. I love them all equally, let’s just leave it at that.
Now luckily for me Mr D had been to visit some friends of his who just so happen to own Berry Sweet, the BEST strawberry producers in W.A without a doubt. These strawberries are literally the size of your palm and so damn good! So here I was with warmer weather, a mountain of strawberries and some baking plans. I just knew I had to try my hand at some gloriously sweet strawberry cream cakes.
The inspiration came from a traditional vanilla white cake with whipped cream, much like a butterfly cupcake or victoria sponge, but I wanted to really wow with the strawberry flavour. So I decided to make a strawberry coulis to go with it. Once I finished (and tasted) them I just knew I had to share the recipe with all of you, so you too can try your hand at them! Oh and did I mention they’re gluten free too? You could absolutely make them choc-full of gluten but these are so good you couldn’t even tell. Just ask the ladies at hubby’s work!
So without further ado here is my light but luscious Strawberry Cream Cupcakes!
1 x Batch of The Hands Down Best White Gluten Free Cake…EVER!
400ml Whipping Cream
375g Fresh Strawberries, hulled & halved
30g Caster Sugar
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (if needed)
+ A few extra strawberries for decorating
+ 1 Tbsp Icing Sugar for dusting
Prep Time: 15 minutes approx.
Cooking Time: 40 Minutes (including cupcakes and coulis)
Make up one full batch of the Hands Down Best White Gluten Free Cake recipe and instead of making in one large cake, make into 24 standard sized cupcakes. Once these are out of the oven and cooling you can start on your fillings!
In a large saucepan place your 375g of hulled and halved strawberries, sloosh a bit of water in there with them, give it a swirl for a moment and then drain it straight back out. This slight touch of water is going to help your strawberries to release their juices but you don’t want much water left in the pan, otherwise it will water your coulis down.
Now sprinkle your strawberries with the 30g of caster sugar and place over a medium heat for 10 minutes or so. Be sure not to leave them and keep giving them a little stir every now and then. Once your fruit is starting to collapse and lose it’s shape you’ll know they’re ready. If you aren’t sure (and I generally find this the case when using BIG berries), just give them a squish with the back of the spoon, the fruit should fall apart easily.
Carefully transfer your sugary strawberry goodness to a sieve over another large bowl and start mushing your strawberries down. This can be a little bit laborious so take your time and hey, why not use it as a chance to work out some frustrations?
Once you get 3/4 of the strawberries pulverized down you may find the last little bit just won’t go. If this is the case, pop them into a small food processor and blitz for a few seconds until fully broken down. Tip this straight into the already mushed strawberries, give it a quick stir to incorporate and then taste. If your strawberry coulis is too sweet you can tamp it down a little with the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. My batch of strawberries were a tiny bit tart this time so once mixed with the sugar they were the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Now cover and pop straight into the fridge to chill.
While this is chilling you can whip your cream in a large bowl and pop it to the side. You want nice stiff peaks here as you’ll be mixing the coulis with it, which is quite a bit runnier, so you need this stiffness to be able to pipe it later.
Moving onto the cupcakes; using a sharp knife, carve a small 20c piece sized hole in the top of each cake and scoop out the flesh. Don’t go all the way to the bottom as you won’t have enough cupcake left to hold the cream. Once the circular flesh is removed you can cut it in half and set it next to the cupcake.
Back to the coulis now; ensure your strawberry coulis has totally cooled before mixing with the whipped cream. Now you want 1 cup of coulis to the full 400ml of whipped cream, but you need to pour it in slowly and very gently fold them together. If you beat them too hard you’ll loose all your fluffiness and you don’t want that! I definitely suggest tasting this as you go as well, but feel free to add a little more coulis or a little less if you don’t want such a strong taste.
Once your strawberry cream is perfect, scoop it into a folded down piping bag with a wide nozzle (or into a ziploc bag and cut off a corner!) and carefully pipe a good swirl into each of your prepared cupcakes. You don’t want to overfill them though, so go steady and aim for a swirl that only just reaches above the top of the cupcake.
Now that you have perfectly piped spirals of cream you can take your little half lids and squish them gently on top. Take your extra strawberries and cut into little slices and place in between. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar!
How sweet do they look? And more importantly, how amazing do they taste! It’s like biting into a little pillowy goodness with a gorgeous tang of summer.
Do you want to give these gorgeous cupcakes a try? When you do don’t forget to tag me in the photos! I love to see your creations! #candgbakingadventures
*Please note I am in no way affiliated with Berry Sweet, I am but a fan! You too can visit Berry Sweet and purchase fresh/frozen strawberries straight from the farm, as well as a stunning selection of cakes and jams. Please see their Facebook page for more details. Shop Small. Buy Local.