Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Strawberry-Jam Tea Cakes

Here's what I've learned about the filled and layered section of Martha's cookbook. The cupcakes in it take some work. Granted, I'm only on the second cupcake of the section, but these first two have not been walks in the park. That said, I find them to be more fun because they are a bit of a challenge. I like these strawberry-jam tea cakes in particular because of the little surprise they have inside.

The actual cake part of these cupcakes was very similar to the cake in the boston cream pie cupcakes that I made last week. It may have been identical, but I didn't compare the recipes word for word, so I'm not sure. But, the batter was just as thick and difficult to work with as the last time, and folding in the egg whites made it much easier to work with. Again, just like last time. The only difference was this time, I layered the cupcake batter and filling before the cupcakes went into the oven instead of putting everything together afterward.

When the cupcake batter was done, I put 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake pan, then layered 1 tablespoon of strawberry preserves on top of that. The recipe said I could use jam or preserves, I chose preserves just as a personal preference. On top of the layer of preserves, I put 2 more tablespoons of batter. After all the layering was done my only concern was that the cupcakes were too full. They were filled right to the top. I followed the directions as they were written, but I think I could have used a little less batter. Or maybe, my tablespoons were just a little too big. The cupcakes turned out fine in the end, they were just a little larger than they probably should have been, and I only got 14 cupcakes instead of 16.

The other issue I came across was being able to create an indent in the first 2 tablespoons of batter to create a little spot for the preserves to go. The batter was so sticky that I had trouble getting the indentation to stay once I lifted the spoon out of it. The batter just stuck to the spoon. So, when I put the preserves into the layers of batter I pushed it down with the spoon to make the indentation as best as I could.

I baked the cupcakes for 30 total minutes, turning them halfway through the baking time. 30 minutes was enough, but some of the preserves oozed out of the cupcakes and was visible through the sides of some of the cupcakes when I removed them from the pan. The cupcakes came out easily (I had floured and buttered the pans beforehand). I removed them as soon as they came out of the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack. When the cupcakes were completely cooled I stored them overnight in a plastic container and made the citrus glaze the following day.

The citrus glaze is very easy to make. I've done it before, but last time I made it I used lime, this time the recipe called for oranges. I didn't have to add any extra confectioner's sugar or orange juice for consistency purposes. The amount the recipe called for was perfect. I spooned about a tablespoon of glaze over each of the cupcakes and then let the glaze set for 30 minutes.

I enjoyed the cupcakes, though they were a little thick, as in, it was a lot of cupcake. I think that's partly because I made them too big. Next time I would use less batter, maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons for each layer of batter instead of 2. I also think these cupcakes would be quite good warmed up in the microwave for a couple seconds. I may just have to try that for a not-so-healthy breakfast one day this week.