Monday, February 29, 2016

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

We really don't do much for Valentine's day, I usually make Randal a treat though and this year I didn't have much time so I made my chocolate cupcakes because I can make them quickly and I know they will be good.  I made my swiss meringue buttercream and threw some strawberry puree in there and topped them with a chocolate covered strawberry.

Chocolate Cupcakes:
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. valrhona cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup black coffee
½ cup buttermilk
1½ tsp. vanilla extract

Strawberry Puree:
1 lb strawberries
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Seeds from a 1/2 of a plumped vanilla bean

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
5 egg whites
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup strawberry pure

To make the cupcakes, in a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, vegetable oil and egg. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, blend in half of the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated. Blend in the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla just until smooth. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Divide between baking cups and bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes.

To make the strawberry puree, combine the berries, lemon juice, vanilla and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, until the berries have given off some juices and they come to a boil. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl. Using a spatula rub the berries and juices through the sieve.

To make the frosting, put a few inches of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Put the egg whites and sugar into a bowl that will fit over the pan of water and whicsk until it reaches 150 degrees and the sugar has all melted. Transfer mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk on medium speed until the bowl feels cold (this can take up to 10 minutes) add the butter 2 tablespoons at a time, then add the vanilla, salt and puree.

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