Love at first bite : BERRY FILLED CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

I ended up engaging in some “insider trading” of my own with these cupcakes, by scooping out the center and filling it with a gooey mixed-berry preserve. Seeing that it was Martha Stewart’s recipe, I just HAD to point out the irony! (Read : Martha Stewart – Insider trading scandal)

Personally, I think a good cupcake is glorious in its own right. Having said that though, this one takes that just a tad further into addictive cupcake territory; the love-child of a gooey lava cake and a cupcake, this recipe is going to knock your socks off every.single.time.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s ‘Vanilla cupcakes’, the changes that I made are pretty straight forward – I reduced the amount of sugar to ¾ of a cup from the said 1 cup, and of course added the delectable mixed-berry filling. I have to mention here that I only got 9 cupcakes out of this quantity. The size of the mould used was not mentioned, so I’m guessing the difference was probably due to this (mine were slightly bigger than fairy cakes)

Since the luscious berry filling adds a certain amount of richness to the cake, I decided to go with a simple vanilla cream cheese frosting. You could very well use a butter-cream icing or any other topping of your choice, really.

Apart from adding a different dimension to the flavour profile, the filling actually makes this somewhat of a gourmet piece! You definitely want to flaunt this one in your repertoire.

INGREDIENTS:

(Makes 9 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup whole milk
1 tsp baking powder

For the berry filling:

4 tbsp mixed-berry preserve
¼ tsp hot water

For the cream cheese frosting:

100 grams cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
Food colouring (optional)

METHOD:

For the cupcakes:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 9-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using a food processor or a hand whisk, until it turns a pale yellow. Add in the eggs one at a time, until all the ingredients are well combined, and then stir in the vanilla.

Add the milk and the flour mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, until you have a semi-runny batter.

Divide the batter equally among the liners, filling in just about 3/4th the way up. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack and let them cool completely before you begin icing them.

For the filling:

Break up the lumps from the berry preserve with the help of the hot water and set aside.

After the cupcakes are cooled completely, using a knife, cut open a rough circle at the top of the cupcake, going down about half the way to the center. Set the removed piece aside.

Fill in the berry preserve into the holes and cap back the removed piece.
(It might look a little untidy at this point, but the icing will cover up the flaws completely)

For the cream cheese frosting:

Cream together the cream cheese and butter using an electric whisk, until creamy. Mix in the vanilla extract (and food colouring) and gradually add in the icing sugar.

Using either a blunt knife, spatula or a piping bag, frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired.

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