Jun 1, 2010

Strawberry Butter Cream and Gerber Daisies for a Sweet Girl

I know I haven't blogged forever (in spite of my promises) but I have been busy trying to get all of my spring cleaning done, gardening, working on some art pieces, a wedding, a graduation, yadda yadda yadda. This past week, my bff's oldest daughter graduated from high school and I offered to do the cupcakes for her open house.

In this case, the guest of honor, Danee (isn't she gorgeous?), had requested chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting. Because this isn't always a popular combination, I decided to bake both white and chocolate cupcakes (box mix), then make both a vanilla butter cream and a strawberry butter cream in order to have more of a variety of flavor combinations. For the vanilla butter cream I used my tried and true recipe, you can find a printable version here. In this case, I did omit the butter flavoring and substituted the clear vanilla extract for my homemade real vanilla. (I only use the "clear" extracts when I want to achieve a really "white" icing)

As for the strawberry butter cream, well this was experimental. I wanted to use fresh strawberries but I didn't have enough ripe yet in my own patch, and I wasn't happy with the look of the ones in the stores, so I just used frozen. I let them completely thaw, then simply pureed them in the food processor. Next I drained them through a fine mesh strainer to remove most of the seeds.

Strawberry Butter Cream

Prep: defrost strawberries overnight in fridge. For best flavor, prepare this frosting the day before and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temp before spreading on cake or cupcakes.

4-6 oz frozen strawberries
½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter (not margarine), softened
¼ C shortening (may substitute with butter)
1 tsp real vanilla extract
4-5 C powdered sugar
Pinch of salt

Puree thawed strawberries in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Using a mesh strainer or sieve and a rubber spatula, drain puree into another container, removing any lumps and most of the seeds. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat butter and shortening until soft and well combined. Add in ¼ C of the strawberry puree, the vanilla and a pinch of salt and beat until well combined.
Gradually add in half of the powdered sugar. Then add in more powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved.
You may add more of the strawberry puree, a couple of tablespoons at a time, followed by a bit more powdered sugar until desired taste and consistency is achieved.
Chill in the refrigerator overnight but bring to room temperature before icing cake or cupcakes.
Store any leftover icing in a plastic bag in the fridge or freezer.

The cupcakes turned out very well and everyone raved about them, but I think I might tweak it just a bit more by adding less fat(s) and more of the strawberry puree. As you can see, I used butter and shortening in this recipe. The butter for flavor, the shortening to give the icing more body and stability. With as well as it turned out and as good as it was, I think next time I'll try using only the butter amount, omit the shortening all together, and increase the strawberry puree by maybe 2-4 more tablespoons. I also want to try this with fresh strawberries (they're almost ready) For that version, I'll probably slice them up and sprinkle with sugar and let them macerate overnight in the fridge before pureeing.

I topped all of the cupcakes with airbrushed fondant Gerber daisies which were very easy to make, just time consuming. Stay tuned later this week for the step by step instructions on how I made those.

Lastly, CONGRATS (and a big wooohoooo) to Danee for your accomplishments! It's been an honor and privilege to watch you grow from a pretty, little, wide-eyed girl into a beautiful (inside and out) young woman.  Good luck in your future endeavors, I have no doubt that you'll be successful in your chosen vocation. Make us proud girl!

Hugs and Kisses.....Luv ya man,


Patti T. said...

Yeah!! DD is back. Oh my do those ever look delicious AND as cute as the guest of honor. Great job.

girlichef said...

Aw, how sweet :) The cupcakes are beautiful!

Tangos Treasures said...

Awesome job!!
Welcome back!

DDpie said...

Thanks guys! it's good to be back. I can't believe I was gone that long! The tutorial will be scheduled tomorrow. ;)

Danielle said...

those are the prettiest cupcakes!! I love the strawberry butter cream! Do I have to have a cupcake to eat it or can I just use my finger? Oh all right.....I'll use a spoon! :)