Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Strawberry Cupcakes with Basil Cream & Pink Peppercorn Meringue

I'm not 100% sure why I picked these cupcakes out of the few that I brainstormed for the Cupcake Camp OC competition... I guess it was just one of those combination of flavors that I've tried and never really forgot.
So without further ado, the cupcakes!
Strawberry Cupcakes
2.75C AP Flour
0.5C Cake Flour
1T Baking Powder
1t Salt
8oz unsalted butter, softened
2.25C Sugar
3 Large Eggs and 1 Large Egg White
1C Whole Milk, room temp
1.5t Vanilla Extract
2C Diced Strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream Butter and Sugar. Add eggs (and white) one at a time, mixing after each addition.
Sift together all dry ingredients. Mix together milk and vanilla.
Add wet and dry to mixer. Mix until combined.
Fold in strawberries.
Bake at 350 for 22-25min - toothpick test for doneness.

Pink Peppercorn Meringue
4 Egg Whites, room temp
0.75C Sugar
0.25C Sugar
1.5t Cornstarch
0.5t White Wine Vinegar
1T pink peppercorns, lightly crushed (or ground, if you prefer less concentrated heat)

Preheat oven to 275.
Beat whites until soft peaks. Then add 0.75C sugar gradually until medium-firm peaks.
Mix remaining 0.25C sugar and cornstarch. Gradually beat mixture into meringue until very stiff. Beat in white wine vinegar.
Fold in peppercorns.
Pipe onto parchment lined baking sheet in whatever shapes you like. I used dollops, and did so sloppily for the initial trial run (as seen above).
Bake at 275 for 25min. Then turn off oven, crack open oven door and let sit for 1 hour until dry.
(Can be made 1 day in advance)

 Basil Cream (adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit)
 6T Basil Syrup (recipe below)
1C Heavy Cream

Beat heavy cream until stiff peaks. Add syrup to taste.

Basil Syrup

0.5C Sugar
0.25C Water
0.75C Packed Basil Leaves - cut up into pieces (you can adjust strength to taste - also, I used the more fragrant sweet smelling basil, not the licorice-y smelling one. Blech.)

Boil sugar and water until clear. Add basil and let boil for a while. Cool to room temp.

I decided to use Basil Buttercream in lieu of Basil Cream on actual competition day.
I simply used a buttercream recipe and added in the basil syrup to taste.

The assembly...
Cool cupcakes.
Top with a meringue hat.
Sprinkle a line of ground pink peppercorns across the top.

Ta-da! The "competition dozen" - turns out I really only needed 4 good ones, the rest were served as "donations" anyways.

Cupcake adventure complete!


Cinnamon Girl said...

The flavor combo is so gourmet! And so scrumptious! Pretty too.

Indie.Tea said...

Wow, those sound amazing...I never thought of basil-flavored cupcakes.

ila said...

so fancy!