SHOCK AND AWE!
I know, I know, it's a cheat but I just figure it's cheaper than raw ingredients and they rarely ever fail. The key to making it not just taste like a typical boring cupcake is to add new ingredients to it to make it unique.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I haven't had marshmallow fluff since I was a wee child. It's full of horrible sugar and it's AMAZING! I can see myself using Fluff for more cupcakes in the future. Perhaps S'mores cupcakes?
Here's my recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.
1 box white cake mix
4 egg whites
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk plus 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice*)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup marshmallow cream
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup icing sugar
500 ml whipping cream
1 tbsp strawberry flavoured gelatin powder
1 cup icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350º and place liners in cupcake tray.
2. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except cake mix. Blend well. Sift in cake mix to ensure no lumps of mix will be in the cakes. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Try not to over mix.
3. Fill cake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-17 minutes.
*if you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute it for 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 tbsp of lemon juice. You should prepare this mixture 10 minutes before starting the recipe as you need to give the milk time to sour.
Once the cakes have cooled, cut a piece out of each one for the filling. I happen to have a rad cupcake tray that bakes each one with a hollow centre from the get-go. It saves on time and each one looks perfect!
4. Combine all ingredients for the filling. Spoon into hollow cake centres.
I love the use of vanilla bean paste in baked goods. I love the look of the speckled vanilla beans throughout the food. I find it appealing.
5. Whip cream until hard peaks form. Add gelatin and icing sugar.
6. Pipe whipped cream onto cupcakes just before serving and garnish with a strawberry.
I brought 15 of these to a friend's place last night. There were six of us and they were eaten in about an hour or so. Impressive!
I'm moving once again...in just under two weeks! I'm looking forward to it. Closer to the city and work, and I'll be living alone once again. My crafting time may be lessened in the next couple of weeks but it'll be worth it.