Monday, 21 de September de 2015

Strawberry and chantilly cupcakes

37 Comments

We can always change our minds about something in our lives, right? I think so too. We can hate a city one day and love it on the next. I’ve changed many opinions because I believe it’s healthy. But there’s something I’ve never changed my mind about: I firmly believe people are not entitled to treat other badly just because they are having a bad day.

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Gosh, this pisses me off so much. Your day might be shitty, but nobody has anything to do with that. It might be all wrong because of someone specific, not a situation – like raining just after you washed your car – but that’s not reason to treat people like dirt. It’s ugly and it’s mean. Other people have nothing to do with your luck or sadness, or whatever.
When we do this, we are passing forward negativity. That won’t do anything good in this world. “But you know, nobody does that for me, I’ve been beaten around by other people constantly”. Well then I’ll say the same mom used to tell me: you won’t do things just because everybody else’s also doing it.

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We should concentrate in passing forward good things. I’m not even that positive, I love a good dark side of the force. But there’s this one friend who once told me something that really changed me: me, you, everyone, we came to this world to do good. To do something that will take this world to good places, help makes this a better planet. This is what we should work for, our personal and collective happiness. Mostly because happy people don’t mess with others.

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So let’s use that beautiful red strawberry puree we did before, shall we? It was one of the best ideas I had, because it produced an amazing cupcake, filled with flavor and truly with strawberry taste. I’m sure it was the puree’s fault.

Strawberry and chantilly cupcakes
Yields: 12 cupcakes
Recipe by The Kitchen McCabe, with adaptations.

Batter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup strawberry puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 eggs

Chantilly
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar
3 tablespoons strawberru puree

1 – Turn your oven to 180°C. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Next, add the sugar and mix with a spatula so it’s well combined.
2 – In another bowl, beat the eggs with the oil and add the strawberry puree, the vanilla and the lemon juice. Open a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients on top.
3 – Beat slightly with a fouet, to mix everything together, but don’t mix too much or you’ll risk having sinking cupcakes with a tough texture.
4 – Divide the batter among the paper liners, filling 2/3 of each, and bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5 – For the frosting, leave your mixer bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Then remove and beat the heavy whipping cream while also adding the sugar. Before it reaches piping consistency, add the puree and continue to beat. If you add it later, you might lose the point where the chantilly is perfectly pipible to somewhere between butter and buttermilk.
6 – Fill a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes as you wish. Cut strawberries in half for the same look as shown in the photos.

This chantilly doesn’t hold well outside the fridge, especially if it’s hot in your city. Also, there’s fresh fruit on top as well as in the batter through the puree, so it’s best to keep this whole cupcake refrigerated. Or eat it right away, because it’s totally worth it.
The piping tip used in these pictures resembles the 1M from Wilton.

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It’s not only pretty, these cupcakes are amazing. Who else agrees these were the best photos I’ve taken for the blog? I’m so in love with them.

Which opinion haven’t you changed at all? Why?

Monday, 14 de September de 2015

Homemade: Strawberry puree

32 Comments

September 10th, 2015. That was a crazy day. Something happened in the universe and all things that were weird, strange, insane, mean or embarrassing worked their way to me on that day.
This bad day started with plagiarism of my photos on Facebook. Then I found out my 17 years-old poodle was pooping blood and nobody thought it was a good idea to call the vet. But my day wasn’t over. I still had a fight with a security officer in my workplace, because of no reason whatsoever, when he just decided to be almost yell at my face when I tried to talk him down. I got scared to even cross the reception of my job because of him.

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There was also a comment made by one of you that made me very upset. I think I was already a bit shaken by the horrible day I was having. Comments like that don’t usually get to my nerves. But this time, it was deep.
Nonetheless, the day wasn’t over. I almost crashed the car and I also managed to spill water from the toilet twice on my pants, thanks to the flush.
Definitely, September 10th, 2015, was one of the worst days I’ve had in quite some time. If it seems like not many weirdness for you, understand that my last few years have been very good and happy, so to have a day filled with, well, shit, is awful.

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It’s strawberry season in Brazil and I decided to make some more strawberry cupcakes. I needed a strawberry puree for the recipe, so I decided to make a better puree than just processing strawberries.
This puree can be used in any cake or cupcake recipe, for batters or frostings. The technique developed by the one and only cake mistress Rose Levy, captures perfectly the flavor of strawberries.
You can also use this puree for your breakfast, mixing it with some yoghurt, or making pink lemonade. Enough with the super industrial sugary yoghurts, now you can have your own!

Homemade: Strawberry puree
a.k.a the best strawberry puree of your life
Yields: 1 1/4 cups, or more
Recipe by the diva Rose Levy Beranbaum.

600g fresh strawberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 – Using fresh strawberries, you will need to freeze them a whole night, and then thaw them back. I know, sounds stupid. But this step is required so we can break down the cell membranes of the strawberries so they can release more juices. So freeze your strawberries an entire night, then remove them in the morning, leave them to thaw in a colander over a bowl. In the middle of the afternoon, they should be ready.
2 – Press the strawberries against the colander to remove all juice possible. Do this with moderate strength as we don’t want their skins or seeds to go through the colander, but we do want all the juice. You will have approximately 1 1/4 cups of juice after this process. Set aside what’s left in the colander – like shown in the picture.
3 – Transfer the juice to a big pan, with high sides, and cook on médium to low, stirring constantly, until you get 1/4 cup of the juice. Don’t leave the pan and walk away, or the juice might burn. It deserves your attention.
4 – When it reduces enough, remove from the heat and let it cool down. Meanwhile, process the rest of the strawberries until you have 1 cup of puree.
5 – Add the reduced juice when it’s colder and the lemon juice. Process again to incorporate everything and it’s done!

Voilá!
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Dicas:
– You can use frozen strawberries, same quantity. In fact Rose tells you they are better for this technique and you have one less step to follow.
– Instead of cooking the juice on the stovetop, you can microwave it in a glass bowl with high sides until you have the same amount: 1/4 cup. I don’t know the exact time because I made it only in the stovetop.
– This puree lasts for 10 days in the fridge or over a year if frozen. Yes, a whole year. And you can thaw it, get just a bit, then freeze it again without changes of texture and flavor.
– My strawberries were so sweet I didn’t see the need to add sugar. Besides I was using it for a cake recipe. But if you want this puree to be sweetened, add 40g of sugar and see it it’s to your liking. If not, add more.
– The lemon juice helps accentuate the strawberry flavor. No, it doesn’t get lemon flavor.

When was your last bad bad horrible day?

Juliana Morgado

I’m a journalist with more passions than time can allow me to have. I have found in the kitchen my paradise, my resting place after a long and exhausting day. It’s my addiction, really. Not only cupcakes but anything that I find interesting, challenging or fun to do. Despite the blog’s name, it’s not all about cupcakes. I love cooking risotto, of all kinds, and I simply love any recipe with cheese.

Cupcakeando’s History

I’m not sure when or why I started to cook. My memories are of my mother putting me in the kitchen and teaching Brazilian white rice and her awesome pomodoro sauce for spaghetti, with fresh tomatoes just the way only she can do. All I know in the kitchen I’ve learned by one way: practice. My recipes are created from my head and implemented with the tests I run, or even meticulously measured from trusted sources.
I have a true passion for cupcakes, because I believe they represent everything that’s good in the kitchen: butter, sugar, cuteness, dedication and creativity. Everything in the right amount for one person.
I enjoy experimenting with these little ones, and finding out new ways do decorate them. When I have nothing better to do, I start researching and studying recipes, theories and decorations for cupcakes. Yeah, study, that’s right.
The blog is also a place for my second passion: photography. I’m that person who keeps looking for angles and shots while walking on the park. I also study the art of photography through websites and books.

The Name

Cupcakeando means, roughly, cupcakeing in Portuguese. The noun “cupcake” is in a verb tense that most well-schooled Brazilians hate because it means an action that will never stop. That’s precisely my intention. I don’t have any wish to stop my cupcake factory anytime soon, or even stop cooking in general. If I don’t have anymore orders, it will be for friends. If my friends get sick of it, it will be for my family. When my family says “ENOUGH”, it will be for myself (and maybe for my Siberian husky and my Pembroke corgi). Because that’s what I love to do and what makes me truly happy.

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All photos and texts on this website are produced by Cupcakeando, unless specified otherwise. They represent a lot of work and effort. In case you want to use any photo or text from this website, please make sure to link back to me or even get in touch with me before anything. I’ll be glad to help, but it’s important to give the proper recognition. :)

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