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Inside out Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Posted on Feb 14, 2013

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I have a pet peeve when it comes to Valentines Day.  Trust me, I love baubles and bling as much as the next girl.  But why is it that every commercial makes it seem our guys only truly love us if they “go to Jared’s”?  Seriously, think about all the ways (large and small) they show their love for us every day – that’s what really counts.

And speaking of ways to show your love…why not avoid the annual restaurant mêlée, and surprise your sweetheart with these whimsical treats?

 

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Pretty in pink, these cupcakes are like an inside out chocolate covered strawberry.   Hidden inside each sumptuous strawberry cake is a velvety milk chocolate mousse.  And the crowning touch?  A swirl of silky strawberry Swiss meringue butter cream.  Delightful.  Unpretentious.  Guaranteed to be loved by all!

One taste of Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, and you’ll be hooked.  Feather light, silky, and perfectly sweet, it will become your go to frosting.  And if you’ve never attempted it, be not afraid my friends.   It’s not difficult, and infinitely better than its cloyingly sweet cousin, regular buttercream.

I adapted the cupcakes  from Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes recipe over at Martha Stewart.  And the strawberry swiss meringue I adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.  So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s get this party started!

 

Inside out Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: About 18 regular size cupcakes

    Cupcakes
  • 2/3 cup whole fresh strawberries, hulled (approximately - 1/3 cup puree is needed)
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Milk Chocolate Mousse
  • 4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped - recommended: Callebaut Fair Trade
  • 9 tablespoons heavy organic whipping cream
  • [*Strawberry Swiss Meringue*
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and cut in half
  • 8 teaspoons Deb-El Just Whites
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  1. Prepare Chocolate Mousse before making cupcakes
  2. Milk Chocolate Mousse
  3. Add chopped milk chocolate to a small stainless steel mixing bowl.
  4. Add 4 tablespoons heavy cream to small saucepan and heat on medium low until cream begins to simmer (small bubbles form around edges of pan)
  5. Pour hot cream into chocolate.
  6. Let sit for a minute to soften, then whisk until smooth.
  7. Sit aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, whip the remaining 5 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  9. Add a small amount of whipped cream to the chocolate and fold in to lighten it.
  10. Then add the remaining whipped cream, folding just until incorporated.
  11. Cover and refrigerate.
  12. Cupcakes
  13. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Add strawberries to a food processor and pulse until a smooth puree forms. You'll need 1/3 cup strawberry puree, so if necessary, add a few more strawberries to make 1/3 cup. Set aside.
  15. In a medium bowl, mix cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  16. Sift flour mixture into a larger bowl and set aside.
  17. In another small bowl, whisk the strawberry puree, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Set aside.
  18. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium high for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  19. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  20. Add both sugars and beat again on medium high for about 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
  21. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  22. Add the whole egg and beat for 30 seconds.
  23. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.
  24. Add half of the flour mixture, using an off on pulsing motion until partially blended, then mix on low speed until just about blended. Scrape down bowl.
  25. Add the strawberry milk mixture and mix on low until blended.
  26. Scrape down bowl.
  27. Add the remaining half of flour mixture and pulse, then mix on low until just blended, stopping to scrape down the bowl a couple of times.
  28. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake just until tops feel dry, about 20-22 minutes.
  29. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from muffin pans and cool completely on the rack.
  30. Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  31. Puree strawberries in a food processor and set aside.
  32. Add just whites and warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer and gently whisk for 2 minutes, or until the powder is completely dissolved.
  33. Whisk the sugar into the egg whites.
  34. Place the egg whites over a small pan of simmering water, making sure water does not touch bottom of the bowl.
  35. Whisk constantly until the mixture feels warm and it feels smooth when you rub a bit between your finger and thumb. You should not feel any graininess.
  36. With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on your stand mixer on medium until stiff, shiny peaks form.
  37. This may take anywhere from 4-8 minutes, depending on your mixer.
  38. The bowl should feel cool to the touch at this point.
  39. Switch to a paddle attachment.
  40. Add 2 tablespoons butter, mixing on medium speed until completely incorporated, then add the remaining butter in the same manner. It is important to make sure the butter is thoroughly mixed before adding more! The mixture may appear curdled as you add the butter, but continue mixing, it will come together.
  41. Add the strawberry puree and mix on medium speed until blended.

Notes

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart

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