I've been really good lately. I haven't bought a new cookbook in ages. (Ages meaning a couple months.) Then I broke my streak by buying two in two days. The second one was this morning--I ordered Dorie's new book on Amazon. (Surprisingly, my order said I may have it by the end of the week. Wow. And cool!) The first cookbook I bought yesterday at Half Price Books--a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. I have several friends who are members of the MS Cupcakes Club, so I've heard lots of good things about it. In fact, I thought about buying it back when it came out, but decided that I just don't make cupcakes often enough to justify it. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it for half price. Now I just have to restrain myself and not go crazy buying cool cupcake papers and other decorating stuff. It seems I have the same love for decorating supplies that I have for office supplies. Which is why I do my best to stay out of both Michael's and Office Depot. =)
So of course I had to make something right away. After flipping through the book, what caught my eye right away was the lovely pink Strawberry Cupcakes--strawberry cake with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. (I have to say, one of the things that appealed to me about this book is that Martha uses a lot of Swiss meringue buttercream, which is a favorite of mine. Gotta do something to use up all those egg whites leftover from making ice cream!) Since I just bought a bunch of strawberries when grocery shopping, these cupcakes seemed like a great place to start.
The recipe makes a lot--it gives a yield of 34--but since I only have one muffin tin and didn't need a huge number of cupcakes, I made a third of it. It wasn't too difficult to cut the ingredient amounts in thirds, especially since I converted everything to grams first. I couldn't find any notes in the book about what weights Martha uses for flours, so I went with a fairly standard 4.5 ounces (about 125 g) for AP flour and 4 ounces (about 115 g) for cake flour. The batter is made with the creaming method, and finely chopped strawberries are folded in at the end. I ended up with 11 cupcakes. The frosting is pretty standard as well. Even though I knew I wouldn't need that much, I made a full recipe of plain Swiss meringue buttercream, since it's kind of hard to make a small amount in a stand mixer. I just froze half of it and added fresh strawberry puree to the rest. I originally added the strawberries to a third of the plain frosting, but I think I had too much puree, because the frosting broke and wouldn't come back together no matter how much I beat it. I think I added too much liquid for it to handle, so I added in some more of the plain frosting and beat it all together. That solved the problem. So now I have a bunch of plain frosting and a little extra strawberry frosting in my freezer.
The verdict? Well, Brianna and Gillian certainly gave them two thumbs up. =) I think they were excited to see cupcakes for dessert, since we hardly ever have them except for birthdays. I'll have to report back with my verdict later, since I'm way too full from dinner to eat one now. Well, and because I might have sampled just a bit of the frosting before dinner... The frosting is definitely delicious. Edited to add: Okay, I finally tried one. Yum! It's nice to have non-chocolate cake for a change. (Everyone here but me likes chocolate/chocolate the best. I prefer vanilla cake/chocolate frosting.)
If you'd like to try these for yourself, you can find the recipe here. I can't wait to see what other fun cupcakes I can find to make. Gillian has already put in a request for the monkey ones for her birthday.