I have done a lot of baking this week. It started with homemade English muffins on Saturday - delicious! On Sunday, I made apple pie cupcakes as an American-themed dessert for the "Around the World" ladies dinner at church. I am so glad I went to that - so many great foods and desserts to choose from and wonderful company. I decided to add that special pie touch to my cupcakes by actually baking pie crust "leaves" and placing them atop the frosted (vanilla buttercream) apple spice cupcakes. I didn't get to try the combo as a whole but Ben told me it worked great and I trust him to actually tell me the truth. Those were good but the truly noteworthy cupcakes, I made today.
It is the beginning of the Florida strawberry season and I think everyone in the house had the same idea - those big, red strawberries look delicious! That is how we ended up with more strawberries then we knew what to do with. I already was planning on making cupcakes for the show at Bethany on today, so I thought about how I could make strawberry shortcake in a cupcake. I made a whiter cake than usual to start. I then put some batter in, a layer of sliced strawberries, then batter on top. I thought this would create the sort of shortbread "sandwich." To top it off, I wanted something that gave an illusion of whipped cream but figured the cupcake could use more strawberry flavor. I ended up with a meringue-based topping mixed with strawberry puree. While the strawberries made the topping runny, once on the cupcake it stood up fine (took a few tries to top it right though). Next came tasting and Ben and I knew I had discovered something special. I found out how special later tonight.
I took the cupcakes to the show and everyone loved them. The number of people who told me how much they enjoyed my cupcakes and how good they were amazed me. Ben's reviews have always been glowing and a huge encouragement, but hearing that from other people too, was overwhelming. It really made me want to cry. It seems that making cupcakes and pastries all day is indeed a good choice for me.