I love strawberries and when they come into season I go a bit strawberry mad (as I'm sure you're aware...Strawberry Scones, My Dad's Birthday Cake, Strawberry Filled Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting, you get the hint) I make smoothies and just eat them out of the fridge. I've had a good think about this and whilst I'm a real berry person, raspberries, blueberries, you name it I'll eat it, I think strawberries are definitely my favourite berry. Although did you know that a berry isn't a berry if it has seeds on the outside? Random fact of the day...
I'm having a mixed week. I seem to have more energy and the house is certainly spotless as I seem to be in a cleaning mood, but I'm struggling with food again. I thought I was doing well and I'm still thankful for all the support I'm getting, but I'm starting to feel guilty with every mouthful I eat again and am terrified I'm going to wake up fat even though I really do know it's not possible.
I'm hoping it's just a phase and that next week I'll be more successful in getting back to some normality. I know it's going to be long and hard and I'm trying not to call myself a failure, but it just seems like a losing battle at the moment.
Back to today's recipe, it's a really simple one which is lovely and sweet with fresh strawberries and goes awesomely well with my Vanilla Bean frosting :) I just love the tiny flecks of black in this frosting!
Recipe for cupcakes from Saved by Cake by Marian Keyes
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
> 200g fresh strawberries
> 100ml sunflower oil
> 90g caster sugar
> 2 eggs
> 180g plain flour
> 3/4 tsp bicarb
For the frosting:
> 400g icing sugar
> 200g unsalted butter
> seeds from 1 vanilla bean
> 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional - if you don't think it tastes "vanilla-ry" enough with just seeds, put this in)
> Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a cupcake tray with 12 cases.
> Hull your strawberries and place them either in a food processor or a mini hand blender (since it's not a huge amount, I'd recommend using a mini blender)
> Blitz until you have a purée.
> Place the oil, sugar and eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl.
> Beat until light and smooth, about 2 minutes.
> Add in the strawberry purée.
> Mix until smooth.
> You can either sift the flour and bicarb straight into the mixture or sift it into a separate bowl which I prefer doing as it means you can tip the flour in whilst the mixer is on.
> Add the flour into the strawberry mixture and mix until light and smooth. Medium speed for about a minute.
> Divide the batter between the cupcake cases. About 3/4 full, if you have any leftover batter just divide it between the cases again, this batter doesn't rise too much.
> Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
> Remove from cupcake tray immediately and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
> Once the cupcakes are cooled it's time to make the frosting. As I've said previously I always pipe my frosting so if you aren't piping you'll probably need 1/2 the amount of frosting.
> Slice along the vanilla bean using a sharp knife, split in half and then use the knife to scrape the seeds out.
> Place all the ingredients in the bowl of your mixer or in a large bowl.
> Starting on a low speed so you don't get the dreaded "sugar cloud" mix until the sugar begins to come together with the butter, then turn up the speed to medium/high and beat until light and fluffy.
> Fill your piping bag, never more than halfway else you'll make a big mess with it spurting out the top, and then pipe a swirl onto the cupcakes. I use a large star nozzle.
> Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.
Entered into Thursday's Treasures over at Recipes For My Boys