Kale Strawberry Blue Cheese Salad
A big, healthy plate of bold spring flavors
Happy Monday, everyone. It has been a fun and busy weekend. I’ve been away having a girly weekend with my friend Callie. I also got to see the Timbers play Sunday night! It was a last minute plan and there was rain, but I’m so glad that I went. It’s fun to see the Timbers show the MLS who’s the boss this year.
Last weekend (Thursday night?) I was in the mood for some chocolate. I had eaten most of what we had in the house, so it was time to bake. I also had a pint of raspberries from the yard that were so tangy and fresh – I wanted to use them in the cupcakes. So I made these:
This is possibly the best frosting I’ve ever tasted or made. I’d consider myself a moderate frosting person – I don’t usually eat it straight unless it is ganache. I generally won’t lick frosting off of things (again, unless it is richly chocolate). If it’s plain white buttercream – especially the kind that comes on many grocery store cakes – well, I’ll probably pass. Unless the cake really makes up for it. But this frosting? I will sing its praises until someone fills my mouth with more of it. I ate so much of it with a spoon. I even licked it all right off the top of one of the cupcakes.
It’s sweet, tangy and the most beautiful pink color! In case you need something to do a natural pink/red food coloring, I highly recommend raspberries. Even if you don’t want to make cupcakes, make the frosting and eat it with a spoon. It’s exploding with the bright sweetness of summer and raspberries.
For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Start by putting cupcake papers in your tray and preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer, and then add the eggs in one at a time. Beat until the mixture is fluffy. If you have a shield for your stand mixer, now is the time to put it on. If not, be careful! J You may wish to get an apron.
Mix the dry ingredients (the first four) together in an easily pourable vessel such as something with a spout. With the mixer on, add half of the dry ingredients to the eggs/sugar/butter at first, followed by the sour cream, followed at last by the remaining dry ingredients. Fold in the vanilla and fill the cupcake pan so that the cups are ¾ full (for me, this made exactly 12 cupcakes). Bake for 20 minutes, then test. You may need an additional five minutes or so, but mine were perfectly done in 20.
For the raspberry buttercream:
12 oz. fresh raspberries
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (really. This is important!)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 Tbsp. heavy cream
In a small saucepan, gently heat the raspberries and mash with a potato masher. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the mush and seeds, and put the raspberry juice back into the saucepan over medium heat, simmering. Reduce by approximately half, or until about 1/4 cup of reduced raspberry syrup. Pour into a cool heat-safe container, and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a mixer, cream the butter and half of the powdered sugar. It will take several minutes for the sugar to absorb the butter and look mealy. When it does, add the raspberry juice and beat slowly to incorporate. Next, add in the second half of the sugar and continue to mix on low. Eventually, the frosting will come together and look like frosting, but you don’t want it to be *too* stiff. Start by adding 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, and add more if the frosting is still too thick.
Chill for at least 30 minutes before frosting (totally 100% cool (do not fudge this) cupcakes). Top with extra raspberries if you want! The frosting recipe is lightly adapted from Kitchen Heals Soul.