Monday, February 14, 2011
So...since I'm trying to improve this whole cooking/blogging/photo-taking skillset, I decided to post other baked goodies as well as Baked Explorations!
Some friends were throwing a shower for a girl in our ward, and when something came up for one of the girls I was excited to throw my hat in the ring and take a stab at these cupcakes! After calling my go-to baking expert, Elizabeth, and getting some good ideas to get started, I was ready to go!
For the first batch, I started with a basic Strawberry cupcake recipe, but it called for Strawberry extract, which I wasn't so sure about. Elizabeth recommended I try freeze dried strawberries in the batter, and I went ahead and added diced strawberries for good measure. The batter seemed a little thick, so I added some buttermilk (a substitution from another recipe) and went to town baking them. They tasted delicious but they didn't look amazing--the strawberries browned, as typical, and they sunk in places they shouldn't have.
Not completely satisfied, so I made a second batch, following the original recipe almost exactly, but still adding in powdered freeze dried strawberries in for the color. The recipe LOOKED beautiful, but it was dry dry dry and not nearly as tasty as the other.
I almost went for a third batch, but felt an over-kill coming on, so I made the delicious strawberry cream cheese/buttercream frosting and frosted away, ending with a homemade cupcake wrapper and Holly's beautiful cupcake toppers. For the frosting I also used freeze dried powdered strawberries, and it made a pretty pink color without any food dyes (yay!) Topped with some diced strawberries, they didn't look too bad!
Overall, I was a little embarrassed when people were eating them at the party. I mean, they weren't gourmet by any means, and perhaps my pride was in the way a little, feeling like I could have done better. BUT, it was a good experience to bake, and next time it'll only be better!
*As always, I WELCOME any ideas/thoughts/critique of photos! The first (amazing) photo is courtesy of Holly Badurek, and I love it!) I think the background in the second photo is a little to "spicy" for this one...I'll mute them down in the future!