Friday, May 20, 2011
Balsamic Strawberry Cupcakes
Last weekend, I walked down to Bi-Rite creamery, a local ice cream shop, and tried their new flavor, balsamic strawberry ice cream. It was super yummy! Tart and sweet, with fresh strawberries. So I was inspired to create the same flavor in a cupcake.
I walked up a huge hill to the grocery store to get some fresh, local strawberries. so yum! I already had a great strawberry cupcake recipe, so I simply modified it slightly. I first macerated the strawberries in balsamic vinegar and a bit of sugar, until they were super juicy. Then I pureed them as usual and added them to the recipe. The effect was subtle, but I could definitely taste the balsamic. I also used the balsamic strawberries to make the frosting.
To kick it up, I made a balsamic syrup by boiling balsamic vinegar with some honey until it reduced and got thick. After cooling, I drizzled it over the tops of the cupcakes. Fancy!
They tasted great, sweet and tangy. I was afraid the concentrated syrup would be too much, but it was great. I even have some leftover, which might get paired with some Grana Padano cheese tonight :)
PS- this was the second time baking in my new kitchen, and the oven takes some getting used to. The first batch was almost all burned on the bottom. Not sure if it was the temperature or the ingredients, but this time I baked at a lower temp and added a cookie sheet to block some of the bottom heat. Worked great! No burned bottoms here.