so today is the first day of my favourite tennis tournament...Wimbledon. for me, Wimbledon has got class. everything is so old school there...the white outfits, the lack of advertising invasion and that lovely green grass. it inspired me to think of a cupcake that would be perfectly at home there amongst the lords and ladies...and so instantly strawberries and cream come to mind as that is what is rumoured to be eaten there and champagne of course...nothing like a tipple of the ol' bubbly dah-ling to enhance watching the gentleman's game!
so when i took out the strawberries, and listened carefully to them...they seemed to be crying out to be blanketed in something delicious, something sinful and who am i not to grant such a humble wish. so i dipped them in chocolate...don't they look content now?
so what did i do? well for the cupcakes, i pulled out the strawberry & champagne jam that i bought at Avoca recently and remembered that some time ago, i made marmalade cupcakes where i just put the marmalade into the batter. so i thought that instead of using the cone method and cutting a disc out of each cupcake, inserting the jam and so on, i'd use the exact same recipe and just add the strawberry champagne jam straight into the batter and see how that worked out. the batter seemed to support the jam pretty well and yet was light and airy enough that i figured it wouldn't collapse into a sticky mess when baked. the batter was a lovely pale pink when it was being scooped into the cupcake cases but this was lost in the baking. the aroma when in the oven was really interesting...it reminded me of the smell of rice pudding baking (not sure why?) and even smelled like that when it came out too. it was such a warm, homely smell...maybe the smell of jam being baked? who knows why these things pan out the way they do and why our olfactory senses react the way they do...i love though the way certain smells evoke such strong memories for us.
then for the icing, i settled on a vanilla mascarpone cream icing which basically consisted of mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and fresh cream all whizzed together in the whizzer and piped on top. it was so delightful! sweet, creamy and light. this recipe was the same as the one used for the rose tiramisu cupcakes icing.
in case you haven't noticed at the moment...i am a bit obsessed with photographing my food in sunlight. it could be a passing fad...or it could be just that sunlight falling on food casts these amazing shadows and lights up the food in a way that seems to make it look very appetizing(to me!). or it could be that in this country we are generally very sun-deprived and, so when the sun does come out simply everything has to soak it up...including my cupcakes!
anyway, then the taste-test. the whole cupcake came together very nicely. for starters, that chocolate-coated strawberry set you up for a real pleasure to the palate. then came a bite of vanilla mascarpone cream and soft strawberry champagne sponge...a delightful contrast! the sponge had a slight stickiness to it that also made it incredibly moist. this really is the Wimbledon of cupcakes - game, set and match-made in heaven!