I can't say going without a/c during the sweaty, humid summer months is my favorite. (Please note, I did say it's not a fave, not that I couldn't do it. I did grow up without a/c, it's just that, I think I'm spoiled now. And I kind of like it.) Or throwing out two cucumbers, among an abundance of other food, but cukes are probably the best veggie ever so I'm sure you understand the sentiment, because they got all gross and juicy. Sniff. Etc.
But two great things did come out of it all! First, I no longer need to plan a camping trip since I spent the weekend sleeping on our 9th floor balcony, half curled under a porch swing and around my 2-square-foot garden and coated in bug spray. Number two, since my fresh bananas are all spotty and my frozen strawberries got all clumped together, it is most definitely time for some heavily frosted cupcakes!
So I'm sorry, Domestic Goddess and Messy Kitchen, my contribution to last month's seasonal baking project (Strawberry) is a bit behind. Please forgive me, I blame Mother Nature.
P.S. Banana cupcakes go marvelously with this buttercream...recipe coming next week. Promise. [Update: Here's the recipe for Strawberry Banana Cupcakes!]
French Strawberry Buttercream [click to print]
Makes about 6 cups
- 1 c. coarsely chopped strawberries
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 8 egg yolks, large
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In medium bowl, combine berries and sugar; stir to coat and set aside to macerate for one hour. This will let the sugar dissolve as it sweetens and slightly softens the berries. Strain juice and use it for pancake syrup or something; put berries in food processor and pulse a few times until it's pureed with some small berry chunks still. Set aside.
Whisk together sugar, yolks and salt in bowl of stand mixer. Place bowl over pot of hot water, making sure the water isn't touching the bottom of your bowl. The water should just be steaming, not boiling like crazy.
Stirring continuously, heat yolk mixture until it reaches 150 F, about 5 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer and whip on medium speed until bowl is completely cool and the mixture has approximately doubled in size, about 8 minutes. Begin adding butter, about 1 to 2 Tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add extract and strawberry puree. Use immediately or seal in an air tight freezer baggie and freeze for up to 6 months.