Oh My Tart…

Lemon Buttercream is SOOOOOO nommy!

Much as I was over the moon with how well my Vanilla-la-la cupcake turned out, it is a cupcake that needs frosting. The great thing about a vanilla cupcake is that it is so generic, there isn’t anything you cannot top it with.

A pink vanilla buttercream with sprinkles seems to be the de rigueur frosting for vanilla cupcake. Vanilla on vanilla? I love pink but, boring much?

I had some of the sticky lemon glaze left over from my lemon cupcakes a.k.a. The Tart and lots of lemons Lemon buttercream anyone?

Lemon buttercrea…Mmmm is my new love. I whipped it till it was creamy, smooth and stiff. Imagine if you can, a burst of lemon sunshine in a cloud.

Since sprinkles are called for, I decided on my Waitrose silver pearls. I love Waitrose’s products!!! I would love to have every single Waitrose product there is… Their products are packaged in such a way that although simple is so appealing; and they really pay attention to what they create. QC Baby!

Such adorable captions

Pretty as it was, the duckling yellow dotted with bits of silver lacked a little contrast in colour. I guiltily remembered the punnet of raspberries I’d finished earlier in the day for a snack. How lovely would a luscious red raspberry look atop that little swirly hill of lemon buttercream…? My blueberries will have to do instead.

Can you spot the bits of lemon zest in the buttercream?

Although they weren’t the burst of colour I had intended, they are still pretty, aren’t they?

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Pink Is The Colour Of Passion

Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.”  Terri Guillemets

While I have never thought of strawberries as “the angels of the earth…”, I do love them. I love all berries. Unfortunately, berries do not grow in SingSing. We have our berries flown in from America, Australia, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and maybe some other places. Which means they are insanely expensive and always somehow bashed up. Ms OCD here will literally go through every single box of cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to get the one or two boxes that are the closest thing to perfect. Yes, closest thing to perfect… I had to make concessions when I finally realised I will never find perfect berries here. Failing which, I would rather go without.

There was an order placed to make cupcakes for a little girl’s birthday. PINK immediately sprang to mind! Pink meant strawberries! The perfect strawberry cupcake! I set about researching and America’s Sprinkles strawberry cupcake kept appearing in everything I read. It was apparently really good. I wanted to create a strawberry cupcake that would make people gush the way Sprinkles’ strawberry cupcake did. Sprinkles’ Candace Nelson had shared her recipe on Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey but the reviews I read were mostly complaints. It seems Candace Nelson had either left out ingredients or given wrong measurements. That’s not very nice Candace Nelson…

Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcake

I set about creating my own recipe. It took me a full day of research and concocting to finally come up with a recipe that looked like it might work. I was also really lucky I managed to find fresh and almost perfect (but very expensive) berries! I happily set about to test my recipe. Let’s not talk about test one…

Test two got me doing a happy dance! Here’s something to note when you are baking; if the batter tastes good, the cake will too. Test two’s batter tasted like strawberry ice cream!

Doesn't this look like strawberry ice cream?

Baking strawberry ice cream?

Fresh out of the oven!

Test cupcake! So PINK!

I was so happy with test two I asked my friend Elaine, my first customer and very supportive friend, if I could interest her in buying a box. The SMS I received after she had one of my strawberry cupcakes, put a smile on my face I could not get rid of for at least an hour after. Her SMS said, “OMG! Gg! We totally love this! My colleagues and I love love love it!”. By the way, I topped each strawberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting, homemade strawberry preserve and a raspberry. Her colleague ordered a box of my strawberry cupcakes that very night for the next day.

Cream cheese frosting and strawberry preserve. But it looked like it needed something more...

With cream cheese frosting, strawberry preserve and a raspberry! Now it's perfect!

Isn't it pretty...

I gave one to my Sayang and she liked it plenty too. She kept repeating, “Very nice. Very nice.” with each bite she took.

I’ve named my strawberry cupcake Pinklicious! I also made a lovely strawberry buttercream frosting to go with Pinkalicious. It’s lush, sweet, bursting with strawberry flavour as it has lots of my homemade strawberry sauce (which flavoured the cupcakes) and is such a pretty pink. If you love strawberries, my Pinkalicious cupcake with Pinkalicious frosting will tickle you PINK! It took great restraint to not lick the bowl…

Pinkalicious frosting!

Frosted! So pretty!

I decorated the birthday cupcakes with Japanese treats and mini marshmallows. I wanted strawberry chocolate Hello Kitties but was not able to find any sort of Hello Kitty-shaped chocolates or soft candies; only the biscuit variety which would have turned soggy on the frosting. I’d bought a pair of decorating tweezers and they are a God-send! Without them I would have taken a lot longer to accomplish Pinkalicious Candyland!

Japanese sweets for decorating

Pinkalicious Candyland!

Pinkalicious Candyland!

Pinkalicious Candyland!

By the way, my DCM says this is the best cupcake I’ve made and even said it’s his favourite! That’s huge!

Two cupcakes flavours perfected, so many more to go! I know what I want to do next and I cannot wait to try it out! Can you tell I’m excited!?