I am not sure why, but for some reason, if you add fruit to your cupcakes, people immediately assume that they are less fattening, and then they scoff down 2 or 3. I love this way of thinking, so I have devised a recipe which is totally sinful, however it is ok, because it contains fruit, strawberries actually! I wanted to turn the forever traditional British dessert and turn it into a cupcake, by extracting the most important parts which are; cream, strawberries, meringue and strawberry sauce. However, adding a new component that is the vanilla sponge.
110g Caster sugar
110g self-raising flour
110g Butter (or low fat spread to make it less fattening) at room temperature.
1tsp pure vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder
Ultimately you are creating a vanilla sponge for the base.
For the icing on top of the vanilla sponge;
200g of icing sugar (sifted well)
120g of butter (lightly salted or with no salt)
1tsp pure vanilla extract
Meringue pieces crushed into large pieces
Strawberries cut in half
Icing sugar to sprinkle on the top
Set the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper liners, ensure that the paper liners are strong as this makes sure that the shape of the cupcake remains the same in the oven, producing perfectly shaped cupcakes. Mix the butter and the sugar together until the mixture becomes pale and smooth, and then add the eggs, one egg at a time, beating thoroughly on each occasion until the egg has been mixed into the batter well, then repeat this step for the second egg. Add in the vanilla extract and mix will. Add the baking powder to the flour and mix, then pour the flour into the bowl of butter and sugar 1/3 at a time, ensuring the batter is well mixed each time, then repeat this step until the flour has been used up. Mix with an electric mixer for approximately 3-5 minutes ensuring the maximum amount of air is incorporated into the mixture as this is how the cake gains its light and fluffy texture. Then carefully spoon the mixture into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. This will leave ample room for the cupcakes to rise. Place them into the oven and leave for 20-25 minutes. I do not like to use times as they are never exact, depending on your oven, so I like to watch them. Once they have turned a golden brown colour, insert a skewer into the centre of the cupcakes and if it is clean, when you remove it, then the cupcakes are done. Remove them from the oven and leave them in the tin to cool for 10 minutes. After the ten minutes are up, then remove them and place them onto a cooling rack until cold.
Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, you can make the icing. Place the sieved icing sugar and butter into a bowl and whisk until all the butter has been mixed in, then add the vanilla essence, and whisk again for up to 3 minutes. Then, add the meringue pieces and use a spoon to fold them into the mixture to prevent them from being crushed by the electric whisk, save a few pieces of meringue to use on the top of the icing for decoration. I like to mix my strawberry sauce with the icing to make a marbling effect however, if you just want to use it as a decoration, it works well like that too. Once the cupcakes are completely cold, dollop a tablespoon of icing onto each cake, and spread accordingly. Then place half a strawberry onto the top, you may choose to add a swirl of strawberry sauce or a few shavings of white chocolate.
There you have it, perfect Eton mess cupcakes!!
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as I can.