The votes are in! Those of you who follow The Foodie’s Way Facebook page will be pleased to hear that Strawberry and Champagne Cupcakes were the most popular flavour combination (alongside White Chocolate & Raspberry – watch this space!)
I have to say I was secretly very pleased this flavour came out tops, as any excuse for something bubbly has my vote! Baking and tasting away in the kitchen to create the perfect recipe somehow felt even sweeter with a cold glass of leftover champagne to aid the experimentation!
Now here at The Foodie’s Way, I am very passionate about seasonal ingredients. Yes, it is a little early in the day for British strawberries. But joy of joys, out on a food shop last week British strawberries made a very welcome appearance! They are pretty good already, but I am sure if you decide to make this recipe in full strawberry-season-swing, you will create an even sweeter and juicier cupcake.
In fact, why not time it in with Wimbledon – tennis, strawberry champagne cupcakes and a glass of champagne to go with it…take me there!
So, while you are sipping away on your champagne while your cupcakes are baking, consider the jam in this recipe. I wanted to add a blob of jam in the centre to give the fresh strawberries an extra kick (especially being so early in the season.) Now, I would usually pop in a good quality strawberry jam (homemade or locally made – even better! For those of you Dorset locals, check out From Dorset With Love). But imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an actual strawberry and champagne jam! I would love to learn how to make this, if any of you are jam-maker extraordinaires, please get in touch!
Now, this of course, is not an essential addition. Good old, regular strawberry jam will do perfectly. But I must admit, it does add a certain extra decadence that pleases me greatly.
To add the jam, I used a paring knife and cut a neat little hole in each cupcake. Then I warmed the jam on the hob and blobbed a teaspoon in each hole. There is no wizardry here. Easy as pie!
One word of warning though: don’t overfill the hole with jam, as it may mix into the frosting if you are swirling it on with a palette knife.
Talking of frosting, I am afraid I had a bit of disaster here. My cake speciality is, in fact, wedding cakes (more on that another time.) This means precision sugar paste icing which has taken me almost 3 years to master and I still don’t always get it right! So, I thought, what mayhem can a mere cupcake throw at me? Plenty, it seems!
I invested in some lovely nozzles and made my own piping bag from baking paper. I eagerly piped the frosting onto my first cupcake, only for it to look like…well, something you probably wouldn’t want to find in your garden, if you get my drift. Not a very appetising looking cupcake! I tried a second time, determined to get it right. But again, I just couldn’t achieve that lovely, fluffy, swirling tower that graces the pages of so many cupcake recipe books.
There was also the issue that this method was using up rather a lot of the frosting. At this point, I was eyeing up my trusty palette knife in the kitchen drawer. Decision made, I began dragging and swirling the frosting over each cupcake, trying to make each topping look ‘rustic and arty’ as oppose to ‘slapdash and an awful mess.’
Each attempt got easier! There is much practise needed yet, but it is a start. Do you have any frosting/piping tips? Please share!
Presentation disaster aside, the taste and texture of the frosting was absolutely divine. There is a lovely, distinct and crisp flavour of champagne that compliments perfectly the sweetness of the strawberries in the cake. In fact, they are so good I have already eaten two in succession today – they are just far too tempting to say no to! Especially when there is a huge pile of them in my kitchen winking away at me!
- 450g golden caster sugar
- 420g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 50g cornflour
- 250g fresh strawberries, plus extra for decoration
- 450g unsalted butter
- 8 large eggs
- 1 jar strawberry and champagne jam (or regular strawberry jam)
- 220g unsalted butter
- 120ml champagne (or prosecco)
- 1kg icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 150 deg C (fan) / 170 deg C
- Line 2x 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases (24 in total)
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs together quickly with a fork. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, to the creamed butter mixture.
- In another separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Slowly fold into the creamed mixture.
- Hull the strawberries and crush to a pulp in a bowl. Add this to the mixture and fold again until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for between 20 - 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their tins for a few minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a paring knife to make a small hole in the centre of each cupcake.
- Warm the jam a little, and add about a teaspoon into each hole.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, champagne and icing sugar with an electric hand mixer.
- Pipe the frosting on top of each cupcake (or swirl on with a palette knife) and top with a small strawberry (or strawberry half). Enjoy with a glass of champagne!
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before starting
Dab the decoration strawberries with kitchen roll before placing on the cupcakes, so the juice doesn't spoil the frosting.