strawberries and cream cupcakes

The olympics turned out to be the event of the summer, no?  I didn’t exactly mean to spend two weeks watching team volleyball and pole jump and handball (not a sport). No, it just happened.  You sit down, turn on the tv or the computer, start watching something some swimming or track and field heats, and before you know it you are condemning the South Korean ping pong players for being self-congratulatory assholes.  Though, like most things, my favorites were the big hits: Bolt, Phelps, Murray, and of course Bitchface.  Seriously though, women’s gymnastics is weird, right?  Not only the pressure on all these young girls, but also the sentimentality – the focus on whether they are hugging or crying or how they react or whatever.  And it really seems to bring out the nationalism in people.  Anyway, I think Komova should’ve won the women’s individual all around.  There, I said it…

See what I mean?!  They just suck you in, and don’t let go.  Secondarily, I find the construction of a gentrifying and costly olympic center which apparently necessitated a complete security apparatus in the middle of London to be disturbing but also revealing in how ‘we’ manage cityscapes in a way that reflects racial and class divisions even under the competing rubrics of ‘nationalism’ and ‘globalization.’  To that last point, the opening ceremonies!

caliban the industrialist at glastonbury tor, played by kenneth branagh. wait, what?

I had of course heard stories of gigantic voldemorts and flying mary poppins and real sheep, and so decided that opening night necessitated group exegesis.  By that I mean, a party.  I had a party for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, is what I’ve been trying to say for the past three paragraphs.  And I made food!  In the spirit of the event, I made cornish pasties and served Pims #1 cup lemonade, with mint garnish.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to make a British style ‘curry,’ even though that’s Britannia’s national dish.  But I did make these delicious strawberries and cream cupcakes.  What a natural combination.  Fresh tasting but also sweet like a cupcake, with Mark Bittman’s buttercream frosting recipe, these were a delight.  I am noticing a trend, however, in people not eating desserts, probably because they are ‘unhealthy’ and we area all getting a bit older.  Well…bloody hogwash!  If someone makes you a cupcake, you eat the cupcake.  This rule is the basis of all civilization.

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

The recipe I got from the internets, duh.

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. cake flour (or cake flour substitute)

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks butter, softened

2 1/4 c. sugar

3 large eggs

1 egg white

1 c. buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 lb. strawberries, pureed

A few drops of red food coloring (optional) [I did not use food coloring and the cupcakes were red enough.  They do turn a little gray over time.  By gray I mean grey.

Frosting (Bittman)

Ok, kids, here we go:

1. Oven, 350, or as the British say, Mark something something.  Make it happen.

2. Muffin tin and cupcake liners.  I got mine from Gelsons, and without looking at it brought home the “If you care brand,” subject to this David Cross bit:

Incidentally I didn’t notice because the woman at Gelsons that helped me was sort of crazy and was trying to get me to make this train wreck of a dessert that included pistacchio jello (?) and cool whip and then did a wicked witch of the west impersonation (which she called a “voiceover”).  It was stressful.

3.  Whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

4. Take out your trusty hand mixer, or use a stand mixer if you are married and have one of those.  And as the the person who made the original recipe says: “Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating after every addition. Combine buttermilk and vanilla together and set aside. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture; end with the dry ingredients. Fold in strawberries.”  (Seriously, why are you reading my gloss on this perfectly simple recipe?  All I’m doing is confusing you.)

I did take pictures after each addition of the flour mixture, so as to help you see what it should look like.  But in the batter sort of looks the same in each picture.  I’m just useless.  Completely useless.

5. Bake for 25 minutes until you can stick a knife in it!  (and pull it out cleanly).

6.  Top with the frosting, and add a little slice of strawberry on top, for cuteness.

AWWW!!! Look at those little itsy-bitsy cute little cupca…OM NOM NOM NOM!!

Cupcakes, nom nom, it’s almost like it was the 2008 olympics!  But it’s not.  It’s 2012, and the world is ending.

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