This year we decided to plant small vegetable plants instead of seeds. My mom and I ventured to the garden store to purchase our garden's plants. I couldn't contain myself and began grabbing various plants including eggplant, red bell pepper, yellow squash, and zucchini. My eyes scanned the various tomato plants. I didn't know there were so many different kinds especially the hybrid tomatoes. I filled my shopping cart with yellow boy, heirloom, big boy, grape and cherry tomato plants. I am not even a cucumber fan but a lemon cucumber plant peaked my interest.
Speaking of fruit, I also planted some strawberry plants.
Using my strawberries, I created a cupcake recipe. It is called a Balsamic Strawberry "Short" cupcake. In the summer I love making strawberry shortcake and so I created a cupcake version. The addition of a good quality thick balsamic gave a slight acidic, sweet and tart component to the dessert. While in New Orleans shopping on Magazine Street, I found a shop called Vom Fass. They sell a balsamic that is rich, thick, and sweet. It is called Aceto Balsamico di Modena "Maletti." The great thing about Vom Fass is that you can sample their oak barrel stored olive oils and balsamics before you purchase them.
Without further ado my cupcake recipe:
Balsamic Strawberry “Short” Cupcakes
1 stick butter – room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 large eggs, separated (room temp)
¾ cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cup sliced strawberries
3 Tbsp. good quality balsamic vinegar*
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
Balsamic vinegar (garnish)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
In a mixing bowl, whisk butter until creamy consistency. Slowly add in sugar until incorporated. Beat egg yolks one at a time in a small bowl and whisk into butter and sugar mixture.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Alternately add dry ingredients and milk into butter mixture, being sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Whisk batter after each addition. Lastly, add vanilla. Fold in beaten egg whites. Fill 20-25 cupcake liners a little more than half full. Do not over fill. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire baking rack.
In a bowl, toss strawberry slices with balsamic vinegar.
Using a hand mixer, beat whipping cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined.
To assemble cupcakes, arrange strawberry slices onto cupcakes and top with whipped cream. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Yields: 20-25 cupcakes