Friday, August 24, 2012

Substituting Fruit & Double Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

That leftover strawberry mush/pulp from the strawberry syrup?  I knew it could be used for something, and here it is:  baking.

While in the midst of a massive cantaloupe bounty (two) last week, I was trying to find creative ways to use up the melon, and I read somewhere that grated cantaloupe could be substituted for banana in banana bread recipes.


This kind of blew my mind, because now I had this idea that ANY mashed up fruit could be baked into bread, muffins, cakes, whatever bananas could be used for.

And so began several days of literally baking every single night to try this concept out.   You'd think Foodgoat would have liked this, but he just got tired of muffins.

But the idea of substituting fruits for bananas in baking totally worked!  Sometimes I had to strain out the juices and add more flour to make up for some fruits' higher water content, but I didn't get any straight up failures, which is saying something, since my kitchen failure rate can be pretty high.

My particular favorite was the Double Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes.  This was based on King Arthur Flour's recipe for banana bread, but I made made mini muffins and the result was lighter and fluffier and more like cupcakes, so I'm calling it cupcakes, and if you have a problem with that, well then call it what you want, because I really don't care.  These cupcakes were chocolate-y and had that nice taste of strawberry, which is a lovely combination. 

About the strawberries: they had been used in making the strawberry syrup, and the juices had been somewhat squished out of them in the process, so if you're dealing fresh strawberries, you probably want to strain the puree a bit.  You want the fruit mash to approximate the texture of mashed bananas.

Double Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
adapted from King Arthur

  • 1 cup flour (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed strawberries (strained somewhat so it's not too juicy)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk/sour cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a muffin or mini-muffin tin.  
2) Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
3) In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
4) Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla, strawberries, and milk.
5) Gently mix in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips until well incorporated.  Add more flour if the batter seems too thin and runny
6) Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7) Remove from the oven, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

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