Thursday, October 14, 2010

Week 3 - Strawberry Mascarpone Cupcakes

Pink strawberry cake filled with strawberry mascarpone, topped with
strawberry cream cheese frosting and a pink gum paste ribbon

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us know someone who has been touched in some way by this disease, be it a victim, a survivor, a mother, a daughter, and aunt, a sister, or a friend. If it hasn't touched your life, it has probably touched the life of someone you know. 

One of my dearest friends is a breast cancer survivor. She fought it and she kicked its ass, and I'm so glad to have been a part of her life while she fought this battle. Love you, Kellie.

I have this other friend who is neither a victim nor a survivor, but she fights for those who are. She's heading out on Friday morning to walk nearly sixty miles over three days to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure fund. She raised well over two thousand dollars, and she's walking a very long physical and emotional road this week. She's doing it for all the people who can't. Love you, Kelly.

If you would like more information about breast cancer, visit this site


Ok, so now let's talk about the cupcake. I combined several recipes to get this pink delight, and I was a little unsure of it.  I'm not a huge fan of strawberry (much to the horror of my husband), but this was a tasty cake. My taste testers loved it. I filled the cupcakes when they were a little warm, so the filling soaked in to the cake a little more than it would have if I had waited, but patience is not my strength.

I used a cake recipe that I hoped would hold up to the adding of ingredients and filling. The filling was not super thick, so a little density in the cake worked well.  The frosting was a little softer than I liked, but I may have left the bowl sitting next to a warm oven before I frosted the cupcakes. Don't do that. If I hadn't been rushing to take them to my sister's for dinner, I would have refrigerated it for a while.

Strawberry cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup pureed strawberries (fresh or frozen, pureed in food processor)
Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix salt, baking powder and flour. Add to butter mixture slowly, alternating with the milk. Beat for two minutes on medium speed until well blended. Add strawberries and, if desired, food coloring and beat just until mixed.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake about 20 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry. Cool completely.

Mascarpone filling

  • 8 oz tub of mascarpone cheese*
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients well. Mixture will be thin, so don't panic. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag with a small tip or a filling tip.  Press tip into the center of each cupcake and gently squeeze the bag until the top of the cupcake expands a little, then pull the tip from the cake. Be careful not to overfill, or the cupcake may crack in half.

Most of the recipes I read for this type of filling called for lemon juice, but also came with a lot of complaints about the cheese curdling after mixing. I skipped the juice and added a little zest. Problem solved!

*If you can't find mascarpone cheese, you can substitute cream cheese.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz tub strawberry cream cheese
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree
  • 3 - 4 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in the strawberry puree. Slowly add the powdered sugar until the frosting is fluffy but firm enough to frost with. If you want a more pink frosting, add a little color now until you get the shade you want.  Frost your cakes.

I topped mine with gum paste pink ribbons, because I happened to have gum paste that needed to be used. You could use fondant. You could put some pink sprinkles on it. You could put a strawberry on top, or leave it plain. You can not go wrong with a decoration here. Well, unless it's bacon. This might be the single place in the universe that bacon does not belong. Anyway, have fun with it!


1 comment:

  1. These cupcakes look soo delicious!! What a marvelous idea for a blog - I've already bookmarked you! is my blog. I'm even tempted to add you to my links!! How about an exchange?

    Regardless, I love this idea and will come back often to tempt myself with delicious cupcakes! :)