A few of my friends were also avid bakers; see the connection :). With their encouragement, I decided to take the Wilton cake decorating courses at Michaels. My friends had previously taken them and showed beautiful results in gum paste, fondant and icing. Enticed by my own determined will and undeniable thirst to improve, I went off to enroll in these lovely courses. This week we were required to make cupcakes to decorate with. Imagine my surprise, another excuse to bake hee hee.
Muffins have always been on my mind, and now it was my chance. Over the years, I tried some cupcakes with a cheese cake filling. It was like heaven in my mouth, yes I’m exaggerating, but it was very good. Luckily I found an amazing blog that had the perfect recipe. The recipe consisted of fresh strawberries, my favorite, and a cream cheese filling. Yumm!!!
Unlike the oringal recipe’s methods, which uses a hot water bath to do most of the prelimary steps, I chose the cupcake method. Frozen strawberries where then chopped up. These were actually the ones from berry picking. Next came the cream cheese filling. Once all the components were made, I assembled it and made sure there were strawberries on top as they were the stars of the recipe. Because of the dense middle, the cupcakes were baked longer then the supposed 18-20 mins as suggested by the blogger. Mine were baked at 350 for approx 30 minutes and then checked for doneness. I noticed that if they were not down, the tops would collapse. The results were excellent and I brought them for cupcake decorating class.
As one could see, I used green and pink frosting. The pink coloured frosting was actually a flower we had learned and course the photo did not do it much justice. For an some added colour, I made some marzipan strawberries.
Strawberries and Cream Muffins (adapted from here)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
2 large eggs
2 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh ripe strawberries chopped into very small pieces
4 oz. full-fat cream cheese, very soft
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of liquid from one whole egg that’s been beaten lightly
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Results: The cupcake was nice and light. It smelled fantastic with the sweet aroma of strawberries. Next time, I would maybe prebake the cheesecake part in a silicone mold and place it in the batter. This would reduce the amount of time to bake.