A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of baking for another wedding. The bride’s family and mine have been friends for about 20 years now. There’s a long history of swim meets, 4th of July fireworks and homemade ice cream, and both of our families even moved around the same time to the same area when we were in junior high. And then we started over on a new swim team in the new neighborhood (see the central piece here?). After high school we continued to A&M, and then both became teachers- although in different cities.
The couple wanted cupcakes and settled on four different flavors: strawberry, snickerdoodle, red velvet, and chocolate with peanut butter frosting. I don’t always get to watch people eat the cake after I set it up, so it was fun to watch the cupcakes disappear at the wedding. I wish I could take credit for the signs on the cake table, but that was all the bride’s doing. The entire wedding was absolute gorgeous and I loved being a part of it!
I think strawberry kiwi was one of my favorite candy flavors when I was little. I always went for the tropical Skittles and Starburst. I make strawberry cupcakes all the time, but I had never ventured over to the strawberry kiwi variety. To be perfectly honest, that was even the original intention of this baking experiment. I had set out for rhubarb and couldn’t find any. After wandering the produce section at the store for about 5 minutes, I saw the kiwis and had a new idea. Strawberries and kiwis.
First I made strawberry cupcakes. Then I made a kiwi “curd”- I’m not sure if you can call it that, but that’s more or less what it’s like. I had no game plan when I started making it…just some prayers that it would turn out delicious. Luckily for me it did work and I was saved a trip to the store for more kiwis. I finished the cupcake off with strawberry cream cheese frosting, though regular cream cheese frosting would also be a good choice.
STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES (~24 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Puree the strawberries (I use a magic bullet). In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and 2/3 cup strawberry puree. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until well combined. Slowly add eggs and egg whites until just blended. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and strawberry mixture (starting and ending with the flour). Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.
KIWI CURD FILLING
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks
Scoop the flesh out of the kiwis. Mix the kiwis, sugar, and lemon juice together in a sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl. When the kiwi mixture reaches a boil, pour it into the egg yolks. Stir the mixture and yolks together and then pour it back into the saucepan. Allow mixture to simmer for about 8 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough to cover the spoon (it will thicken a little as it cools also). Remove mixture from heat and let cool.
While the cupcakes and filling are cooling, make your frosting. I made cream cheese frosting and then used some of the extra strawberry puree. Be careful if you add puree though, it doesn’t take a lot and it will thin out the frosting considerably. Be prepared to add more powdered sugar if you need to thicken it.