Tonight I am sharing an experiment. I have had my heart set on making a beautiful pink, all natural gluten free cupcake. My mom has rose shaped cake and cupcake pans and bakes strawberry cakes for special occasions. She often dusts them with powdered sugar and they are gorgeous. Of course we can’t enjoy them because they are wheat based. I’ve been working on an all natural, gluten free version in anticipation of Easter when we are all together.
The basis for the cupcake is recipe is here . My first attempt was using an all natural strawberry preserves to sweeten and flavor the cupcakes. The texture just didn't work out very well at all.
This 2.0 version used two 12 ounce packages of frozen organic strawberries pureed and reduced down to one cup. Strawberries are one of the so called Dirty Dozen of produce that should always be purchased organic. Look at Elana’s post for more on this and to see her lovely strawberry cupcake. I’ve got the cupcake book on preorder and can’t wait to see her recipe!
The first step of this recipe was to reduce and puree the strawberries. I used a large pot because the larger surface area helps the reduction to go faster than a smaller pot. I measured one cup of water into the bottom to see where I need my final amount to be and poured it out. Both bags were emptied into the pot and the one cup of sugar from the recipe was added. That will help the juices to come out. With the burner set at low I waited for the strawberries to juice and thaw and then pureed them while the juice level was at its highest. I used my immersion blender for this. It took about 1 1/2 hours to reduce the berry puree to 1 cup on low heat. The resulting puree was a thick, beautiful deep red and tasted delicious. I poured it through a strainer to remove any seeds and allowed it to cool before starting the cupcakes.
I followed the recipe and added the puree (remembering not to add more sugar). The beautiful red color quickly faded to pale pinkish beige when mixed into the coconut flour and eggs. They took a few minutes longer to bake and didn’t rise as high due to the puree. I iced them with this white chocolate icing.
The interesting thing is that while everyone said they really enjoyed them, not one person could guess what the flavor was. Chocolate Malt and Gingerbread were two of the most curious guesses.
Will there be a Strawberry Cupcake 3.0? We’ll see. But the point is, make recipes your own, have fun with them and be creative. Some days you'll nail it and other times your results will be a little mysterious. =D