Monday, June 29, 2009

Strawberry Mousse Cinnamon Cupcakes

It's actually been a long time since I last made cupcakes. For a while I was a one-girl, cupcake-making machine, trying out different recipes and flavours and combinations, but it wore off a bit now that I have a foolproof recipe and I had been exploring other baking ideas since. Then A, with his typical infuriatingly last minute warning, mentioned offhandedly that his little sister was turning 12 in a few days. Cupcakes were definitely needed for the birthday girl!

These cupcakes are another variation on my old faithful, foolproof cupcakes. True to form, no matter how much I tinker with them, they still turn out the right texture and flavour. I decided I wanted them to be some sort of fruity flavour, and strawberries seemed appropriately pink and girly. I sort of made up the mousse recipe as I went, so if my instructions seem a little sketchy, it's because it was totally improvised! I was very pleased with the final outcome though. The cupcakes were nicely fragrant from the addition of cinnamon and vanilla bean and the flavours did not compete with the strawberry mousse icing.

The mousse was very pink and girly and held it's shape and fluffy texture very well. I added too much gelatin after cooking them down, so I had to mash up the fruit in the food processor to get a smooth mousse. The flavour reminded me of Strawberry Stravaganza ice cream.

Cinnamon Vanilla Cupcakes (with Strawberry Mousse Icing)
(Adapted from my foolproof cupcake recipe)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed mandarin (or orange) juice
2 eggs
125g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a cupcake tray with paper cases. Cream butter and sugar together using an electric beater until light and smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat in well. Add the juice, cinnamon and flour and beat until combined and smooth, avoid overbeating the flour.

Spoon mixture into paper cases, filling them about half to two-thirds full. It will take 15-20 minutes to bake. The top should be golden brown and slightly crunchy after it has cooled for a few minutes out of the oven. A cake tester inserted into the centre of a cake should come out clean.

Place cupcakes on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Strawberry Mousse Icing (should be started the night before assembling your cakes)
(makes enough for 24 cupcakes, halve the measurements if you are only making one batch of cupcakes)
2 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 tbsp powdered gelatin
2 cups fresh cream (I used 35% fat)
3 tbsp icing sugar

Place caster sugar and chopped strawberries in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil on the stovetop. Lower the heat and allow fruit to simmer until the fruit disintergrates and the liquid is a deep red syrup. Sift in the powdered gelatin and stir over heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into a large bowl, cool and then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

After your cupcakes have cooled the day after, remove the strawberry mixture from the fridge. If it is too solid to be mixed directly into your icing mixture, place the fruit in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Place your cream and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 of the cream to your strawberries. Continue beating the other 2/3 of the cream until stiff peaks form. Beat with your strawberries and cream mixture separately until well combined and stiff peaks have formed. Take care not to overbeat or the mixture will be too buttery in texture. Fold the remaining 2/3 of cream into the strawberry cream. Pipe the mixture over your cupcakes.

I made so many that I had a couple left over for Asian Gaga, who was full of praises for these little cakes. She said that they were just the right amount of sweetness, which made my day! I sometimes have a bad habit of making things too sweet because of my insatiable sweet tooth, so it was good to know I hadn't overdone it this time. I think that the birthday girl liked her strawberry mousse cakes, but she didn't get to try them properly at her birthday dinner since she already had a lovely birthday cake and chocolate pudding from her Mum to eat :) Happy Birthday!

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  1. *gasp* those look so adorable! Especially on that cupcake stand :)

  2. Aww so pretty! Love the first pic and the stand! Very impressed with the impromptu mousse!

  3. Aww I love how the flavour matches the cupcake liner! I bet the birthday girl noticed that too! :)

  4. They are soo purrdyyy and taste awesome I bet! What a lucky lil birthday girl; with cake, pudding and cupcakes!

  5. I like the rosettes of mousse - they're a pretty cupcake!

  6. They are so bloody cute! They really are gorgeous, and I love me a good looking cupcake. I havent experiemented with mousse in cupcakes before, but I'm thinking I should give it a go!

  7. I love how you piped the icing - they are just too cute!

  8. these are soooooo beautiful they look gorgeous on the cupcake stand almost like fluffy edible clouds.

    even better i cant believe its mousse not icing YUMMMMM!!!!

  9. Gorgeous! No wonder you took so many photos. I might be showing my age here but do you by any chance remember the Strawberry Shortcake doll range? I had one that smelt of delicious strawberries. I imagine this would smell just as divine..

  10. Karen - Thanks! :) I got the stand as a present, isn't it cute?

    Betty - Thank you! Yeah I love it when improvisation works out well :D

    Lorraine - Hehe I just knew I would have to use those liners as soon as I decided on strawberry flavoured cakes!

    FFichiban - :D Thanks. I know she is a lucky duck!

    Arwen - Thanks so much :) I'm only starting to get friendly with my piping bag

    Maria - Aww thanks! I quite liked them compared to icing, much lighter and not as sweet!

    Rilsta - Thank you! :)

    Leona - Haha thanks, I should have named them 'I can't believe it's not icing!' cupcakes!

    Forager - Thank you :) LOL yeah I went a bit nuts, they got a mini photoshoot. Ooh yes I loved them!

  11. Woah major cupcake frosting love! Oh and you, me, and betty of bettysbites all have the same cupcake stand! :)

  12. i saw these cupcake papers and was tempted to get them. maybe i will now! these cupcakes you've made are absolutely gorgeous and great work with the piping!

  13. Trisha - Hehe yes it seems to be a very popular stand! I want more cupcake stands!

    panda - i can never resist stocking up on them when I walk past them at Coles, they're so cute! Thanks!


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