Posts Tagged 'strawberry'

Pipe Dream #114: To Stay Flated – Choux Chantilly (Cream Puffs)

I will tell you tomorrow how obsessed I was with these pastries. But until I reveal my ultimate shame, I suggest you find out for yourself how easy this pastry is to work with and how addicting these little babies can become.

Especially if you have some spare strawberries lying around.

I have to say, pastry dough in any form is usually pretty intimidating to me. You know, don’t chill it for long enough or handle it too much and it’s all to waste. But all you really need to watch with choux dough is its consistency. It should be really soft, but not so soft that you can’t pipe it into shapes. They key is to add the eggs slowly and test the consistency often. If you pull a spoon out of the dough, the tip of the peak should fall over. If it stands up, you need more eggs.

Also make sure to bake the choux to an even golden brown–no light sides. They’ll deflate like a week-old birthday balloon if they have light sides. Sad, really. But once that is out of the way, you’re really golden any way you look at it.

Oh dear,

L

Choux Chantilly

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (for sweet)
1 teaspoon salt (for savory)
5 3/4 ounces flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Boil water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes.

With mixer on stir or lowest speed add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Pipe immediately into golfball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam.

When cool, whip 1 cup (or more as needed) heavy cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. When ready to serve, cut the cream puffs in half and pipe cream onto the bottom halves of the pastries. Replace top half and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, as the pastry will become soggy once it is filled.

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Pipe Dream #46: To Be Super Chill Like My Fictional Antithesis


Ok, this is my new favorite photograph. Isn’t it your new favorite photograph too?

I took it at a wedding. A very lovely, classy wedding. I happened to make the cupcakes for it.

All of the decorations were darling. It made taking pictures so easy. My work was practically done for me.

I was worried that because I was doing four different cupcakes, they would look too eclectic and disorganized. I was wrong. World 2 Lauren 0.

Despite the heavy rain that hit the cardboard carriers, the heat that threatened to dislodge the cream cheese icing and the severe knots in my back that resulted from watching a box of cupcakes flip over when I had to slam on the brakes in the middle of I-94 (so not my fault), everything went off pretty well. The cupcakes in that box got totally smoked by the way. I may not recover. Strike that. I’m recovered, but the knots remain.

Incidentally, I feel that I finally understand Buddy Valastro and the stress of moving cakes. It is legitimately the most worrisome thing. And I even like baking.

It is in times like these that I think of the perfect person. It is the person who is the exact opposite of me. The grass is always greener, eh? Anyway, this fictional antithesis of myself would never get stressed out about things like this. He is super chill. Maybe he just doesn’t care what people think of him. Actually, I know that is true. It means he rarely worries about how things are going to turn out.

Despite the smoking, the remaining cupcakes were just fine. People took them anyway. I know because I was watching the table like a hawk from the corner of my eye. No, of course I wasn’t feeling the pressure. Silly.

For this wedding, I made four different types of cupcakes. I made the most delicious strawberry cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream.

I made a gluten free dark chocolate cherry cupcake with almond buttercream, the recipe for which is soon to come. I particularly appreciated this recipe. The cake was moist and happy! Unlike some other gluten free bricks of cake, which are lame.

There was also an adaption of my honey poached pear cupcakes with a cream cheese cardamom frosting and candied ginger. They were mini and cute. Anything mini is cute. Like mini tea sets. Or mini rose-colored whale pendants that you find at antique stores for two dollars.

And finally, key lime cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting. Marvy.

How happy these people look. They don’t know they are on my blog probably. I particularly like the expression of the guy on the top middle. He seems to be saying, “Whaddya know? A cupcake just did sure show up in my hand.” Smile smile smile.

Thanks forever to David and Becca. What a beautiful story and a beautiful wedding. I am excited to see them use their creative talents together. If you are ever in the neighborhood and are looking for a church, check out Mill City.

Chillaxing like a hippie until the next wedding,

L

I Got It Right: Strawberry Cupcakes

I’ve got to admit, these might be my favorite cupcakes. Perhaps you are thinking, “What? Come now, Lauren. It’s a little early on in your baking career to be pronouncing a certain cupcake your favorite. What about your perfect boiled buttercream?”

And you’re right. That is a really awesome frosting. But the combination of this particular strawberry cake and this particular strawberry frosting is exceptional. It could be that the frosting requires what I think is an excessive amount of butter. And sweetheart, if I think the butter is excessive, well…

I’ve made this recipe probably four or five times, and it has never failed me, except once when my baking powder was expired (oh the horror!).

This baking powder isn’t expired. I just like it.

Anyway, it is pretty much a foolproof recipe, and bonus, you can make it with either fresh or frozen strawberries; I just thaw mine in the microwave a little bit before I puree them. (Since both the cake batter and the frosting require strawberry puree, I usually just throw in a bunch of berries at once and use the extra for a smoothie.) And you can play around with the frosting a bit–I once added a bit of lemon extract to the frosting and made them into strawberry lemon cupcakes. Massive hit.

Anyway, try it. You will not regret it.

I did something right! Yes!,

Lauren

 

Strawberry Cupcakes

From Sprinkles

For the cupcakes:

2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners and set aside.

Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

For the frosting:

1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add powdered sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (drink the remaining puree. seriously, no regrets); mix until just blended. Do not overmix. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

 



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