You might remember when I shared the Strawberry Riciarelli a couple of weeks back I said I'd be sharing more strawberry recipes, well I'm here today to deliver on that promise.
I love strawberry season! Beautiful plump red berries bursting with sweetness that are so delicious it's so hard not to eat them as is, or even better, dipped in warm chocolate ganache, which is how we've enjoyed them on more than one occasion. There's always something decadent about fresh strawberries that you dip in chocolate before popping into your mouth.
However I had some left over berries begging to be used and cupcakes were on my mind and that's how these Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes came about. I love fruit curds. Lemon curd being a definite favourite, however the strawberry curd filling these cupcakes is just as good, but for different reasons. It has that beautiful sweet strawberry flavour and the beautiful scent of freshly cut strawberries. It was difficult not to eat all the curd before filling the cupcakes!
Given the sweetness of the strawberries I reduced the amount of sugar in the curd, which is what I think makes the curd so easy to eat. Even if you don't make my strawberry meringue cupcakes, and I think you should not only because they are delicious, but because they are fun too with their red swirled meringue topping, please try the strawberry curd. It would be fantastic on scones, used to fill store bought pastry cups, on pancakes and even on toast.
So tell me, how are you enjoying strawberries at the moment?
- 160 g of butter at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups of plain flour all purpose
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- ¼ tsp of baking soda
- ¼ tsp of salt
- ½ cup of milk
- STRAWBERRY CURD:
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 60 g caster sugar
- 40 g butter
- 120 g of strawberries hulled
- MERINGUE TOPPING:
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ cup of caster sugar
- Red gel food colouring optional
- Preheat the oven to 160 Celsius (320 Fahrenheit) and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer to low and add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, or even better a jug, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another jug measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract.
- With the mixer still on low alternately add the flour and milk and mix until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a cake tester comes out cleanly. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely before filling with the curd.
- To make the strawberry curd begin by placing the strawberries in the bowl of a food processor and pureeing until smooth. Strain the strawberries mixture into a jug through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pips. Place the egg, egg yolk and sugar in a saucepan and whisk until smooth. Add the butter, strawberry juice and place over a medium low heat. Whisk until thickened, this will take between 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will be ready when you can see a slight trail from the whisk in the mixture. It will thicken further when refrigerated.
- Cut a circle in the top of each cupcake and scoop out some of the cupcake from the center and fill with strawberry curd. Trim the circle you removed earlier and then replace on the cupcake. Repeat with each cupcake.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.
- To make the meringue topping, place a saucepan of water over a medium heat on the stove top and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl from your mixer over the heat and add the egg whites and sugar and whisk by hand until the sugar is dissolved. You can test this by rubbing the mixture between your fingers and if it's at all gritty keep whisking. Remove from the heat and attach the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk at a medium speed for 10 minutes, or until thick and glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Prepare a piping bag and paint stripes of the food colouring along the piping bag (you can use a small paint brush or cotton tip for this) and fill with the meringue mixture. Pipe the mixture on top of the cupcakes and bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly set on the outside. Alternatively use a hand held torch.