The sun is OUT. Here in the UK anyway. For one weekend. Maybe it’s just because it’s lighter later and the sky is a slight shade of blue that if feels hotter than it is. Because we know Spring is here and the clocks have gone forward, we find ourselves wearing our coats a little less, going to the park a little more and deciding to eat a meal outside until realising the error of your ways because it’s never that warm in England apart from that one bank holiday in August when everyone is in Spain anyway.
My point is, when I think of a UK summer – a proper, hot UK summer – I think of BBQs and Pimms. So here’s my BBQ and Pimm flavoured cupcake…just kidding… although…but i also think of Eton Mess. Meringue, strawberry, cream – what’s not to love, hey? This cupcake, more or less, brings those flavours together.
We’ve got a vanilla sponge, with a strawberry core, topped with a creamy vanilla swiss buttercream, strawberry sauce and crushed meringue. Check it all out below.
Yields: 12 cupcakes.
280g plain flour
300g golden caster sugar
170g butter, softened and unsalted
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp salt
4 egg whites
400g cubed, softened and unsalted butter
STRAWBERRY FILLING & SAUCE
200g strawberries, cut into small pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cases.
Add the strawberries, sugar and water to a small pan and put on a medium heat. Simmer until the strawberries soften and the mixture starts to resemble a jam-like consistency. Set aside in another bowl to cool.
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one with the mixer still beating slowly. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and add a third into the stand mixer. Mix until just combined and add a half the buttermilk. Repeat the steps, so you’re ending with the flour mixture.
Once the batter is fully combined, using a ice-cream scoop or just spoons, fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full.
Bake for 22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.
For the swiss meringue frosting, beat together the sugar and egg whites until fully combined. Place over a pan of boiling water and beat on high for four minutes. To make sure it’s done, rub some of the mixture between your thumb and finger and if you can’t feel any of the sugar granules, it’s done! Remove from the heat and beat on high continuously. While this is beating, a bit at a time add the butter. Wait for the previous bit of butter top be incorporated before adding the next. Be patient. Right about the time you add the last piece of butter, it should all come together and resemble Swiss meringue buttercream. Add the vanilla extract. Decant into a piping bag fit with a 1M star tip.
Core each cooled cupcake and full with the jam.
Pipe a high swirl on each of the cupcakes. Start in the middle and move to the edge of the cake, piping around the circumference. Continue piping, repeating the motion on top of what you’d just piped. Spoon on some of the sauce from the jam and them sprinkle on some crushed meringue.