When I saw the post of Strawberry Cupcakes from Biren's blog @ 'Roti n Rice', I was so impressed with the pictures, especially the cross-section of the cupcake exposing the red, juicy strawberry. It was so pretty and without much hesitation bookmarked it.
For this recipe, I used our local Cameron Highlands strawberries which can be found almost everywhere in the cool highlands. However, they are not as big and as sweet as those grown overseas. A visit to some of these farms is an eye-opener to see how they're being grown, more so if they're grown hydroponically. Growing them in this way is to grow them without soil, on raised trays fed by water containing essential nutrients to ensure healthy growth.
To make it even more interesting for tourists, some of these farms have come up with the idea of 'self-picking' the strawberries. All you need to do is to pick up a bag, pick and choose whatever size and amount of strawberries you fancy, then it's weighed to determine the cost of your harvest.
Now coming back to this recipe ...... as directed by Biren, I proceeded to Food Network to catch a glimpse of the recipe, tweaked it a bit and here is my version of 'Strawberry Cupcakes'!
This one has a fresh strawberry stuffed in it. I just cut a hole from the top of the cake big enough to stuff in a whole strawberry, patch it up with some cake, then dust icing sugar to cover up the 'surgery'. I used our local Cameron Highlands strawberries as they were of the right size for my purpose.
This one has a strawberry in it and it was baked together with the cake. There's a small depression in the centre, so I sprinkled in some lemon zest to cover it up after dusting with icing sugar...... a 'facelift'!
This is it how it looked, with the baked strawberry ........ yummy with icing sugar and it's a bit lemony!
This is the one with the fresh strawberry. Arent' they pretty?
- 6 oz plain flour
- 1.1/2 level tsp baking powder
- 1/8 level tsp salt (reduced from 1/4 tsp as I've also reduced the sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 3oz caster sugar (reduced from 2/3 cup)
- 120 gm butter/margarine - melted (reduced from 3/4 cup)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1.1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Melt the butter and let it cool.
- Sift flour with the baking powder and salt, set aside
- Prepare a patty tin and line them with paper cups, set aside
- Beat eggs and sugar till creamy and light.
- Gradually add in the melted butter, beat and mix till well incorporated.
- Add in the vanilla and lemon zest, mix well.
- Fold in the sifted flour alternating with the milk, in 3 batches, starting and ending with flour. Mix well, scraping from the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl. Take care not to overmix.
- Put 1.1/2 dessertspoons of batter into 6 cups, put in a whole strawberry, straight down and cover up with enough batter to 3/4 cup full.
- Fill up batter to 3/4 cup full for the remaining 6 cups.
- Bake in preheated oven @ 180 deg C for about 30 to 35 mins. Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 mins., then remove. Cool on rack completely.
- Remove cupcakes from the paper liners, cut and remove a strawberry (coned) shaped portion of cupcake from the top of the cake, leaving 1/2 inch of cake at the bottom.
- Stuff the cake with a whole strawberry, cover with a little bit of cake. Dust with icing sugar to cover up the whole top of the cake.
If you like gardening and have green fingers, perhaps you can try growing your favourite herbs, fruits using the hydroponic method. Perhaps this video can be of some help. Click on it and watch!
Do find out more from this 'site'.