Time for a list.

“Things I am sort of obsessed with these days”

  • Anything written by Brandon Sanderson
  • This licorice! Good grief people!
  • Clean bathtubs
  • Squishy pink baby pudge. Nom nom nom…
  • Jeeves and Wooster. On Amazon for only $20? Temptation!
  • Blessed peace and quiet

And let’s be honest. “Dipping things in chocolate” is right up there too.

First that, now this.

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My husband’s coworkers came out and asked for cupcakes. Chocolate was the unanimous flavor request, with one mention of strawberry. Aha! Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Everybody wins.

I frosted these with stabilized whipped cream, which is definitely lighter than frosting. That makes me happy. I’m not a huge fan of most frosting, but maybe I just haven’t met my true love yet.

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Chocolate Strawberries ‘n Cream Cupcakes

adapted from Bakers Banter

Ingredients for cupcakes:

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Instant ClearJel or cornstarch

3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1/4 cup water, room temperature

For stabilized whipped cream:

1-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon Instant ClearJel

For chocolate-dipped strawberries:

1 dozen strawberries

1-1/2 cup high-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (I love Guittard)

Directions:

Make the chocolate-dipped strawberries first. Melt the chocolate chips on low heat in a double-boiler, fondue pot, or mini crock pot on low. Make sure the strawberries are clean and completely dry.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Hold a strawberry by the leaves and dip it 3/4 of the way into the chocolate. Shake gently to remove the excess chocolate, and place on wax paper. Chill the dipped strawberries in the fridge while you make the cupcakes and whipped cream. (When you’re ready to use the dipped strawberries, make sure the chocolate is completely set, and peel them very carefully from the wax paper.)

Next make the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8″ rounds with grease and parchment paper. (If your 8″ rounds aren’t 2″ high, you’ll want to use 9″ rounds instead.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Gradually add the milk, beating until smooth.

Spoon the batter evenly into a paper-lined cupcake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the whipped cream frosting.

To make the frosting, add the heavy whipping cream to a medium-sized mixing bowl, and beat on medium-low speed, gradually adding the powdered sugar. Increase the mixing speed slightly as the cream thickens. Whip the cream just until stiff peaks form, then add the vanilla and Instant ClearJel. Whip until incorporated, no more than 15-20 seconds. If the whipped cream appears lumpy, add a teaspoon of milk and stir gently until smooth.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe the whipped cream frosting onto the cupcakes with a large round tip. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles or shavings, and let them chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Top with a chocolate dipped strawberry. Keep them cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve.