Strawberry season is upon us! And a week early, at that. My CSA's "Extra Fruit" subscribers received word early this week that our extra fruit option, which normally starts in May, would be beginning this week instead. So, rather than getting two baskets of strawberries today, I got six! And they're beautiful, but there are a lot of them.
I'm not quite prepared for jam-making and canning yet this season, so my usual go-to use for large quantities of summer fruit is out for now. Fortunately I have a father whose birthday is tomorrow, and whose traditional birthday dessert is his (delicious) cheesecake with fresh strawberries. And as it happens, his birthday wish is for the whole family (minus Sister #2, who's away at school on the east coast), plus any available significant others, to get together for dinner tomorrow evening. Six or seven people require quite a few strawberries for their cheesecake, so that's three baskets with a good home, but what about the rest?
Well, cake of course.
Not just cake, though: miniature cakes encrusted in sugar. And while you could keep them right-side-up and top them with icing (as if they needed more sugar), I turned mine sparkle-side-up and served them with fresh strawberries.
This recipe started out as a cake--a bundt cake, to be precise--but I decided to make it into mini cakes. The Suitor always groans in earnest-but-faint protest whenever he sees that I've been baking something tasty. It's not that he doesn't like the tasty baked goods, he just thinks they're evil. Or I'm evil. Or something. Something about keeping a waistline in check. Anyway, I have this strange notion that somehow lots of small cakes will be less obvious than a big old bundt cake sitting on the counter, and that he'll be less likely to object. It never works, but the notion persists, and so a cake became cupcakes. Or rather, mini cakes, since they're upside down from regular cupcake orientation.
Recipe and a few notes below!
The quantities listed below will give you more than enough batter for a dozen cupcakes, maybe enough for 18. I didn't want to fiddle further with the recipe, as I wasn't sure how well a two thirds multiplier would work out, so you'll have some extra batter. (Yum!) It's up to you whether you eat the extra batter as it is or bake it up in another tin. Just don't try to get rid of it by filling the muffin cups more than 3/4 of the way to the top, or the cakes will overflow and you'll have a devil of a time getting them out of the tin.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009