Today is my friend Hsing's birthday, and since we both love Hello Kitty, I wanted to make her Hello Kitty cupcakes. Last year I made her a Hello Kitty ice cream cake - chocolate cake with homemade mint oreo ice cream (a post is in the works on that one!), so this year I wanted to do something totally different.
I pictured doing a pink frosting with a white Hello Kitty piped on top - similar to the duckie cupcakes I did for Naomi's mini baby shower - so I decided that a fresh strawberry buttercream would be perfect. For the cupcake, I wanted to try a new recipe (I had found one for a new dark chocolate cupcake that I had been dying to try), and while it came out very moist, the texture was dense and more like a brownie cake - not what I was going for. So I went with a strawberry cupcake instead, which called for fresh finely diced strawberries folded into the batter (recipe from Martha Stewart's book "Cupcakes"!). The end result was a delicate white cupcake with melty bits of fresh strawberry inside - yum!
For the frosting, I pureed fresh strawberries in the food processor, and added it to my standard buttercream. This made it a nice pale pink, but since I was going to pipe Hello Kitty in white, I wanted a darker pink shade, so I added a tiny bit of pink food coloring.
Then I made another batch of white buttercream for Hello Kitty's face, and added red food coloring for the bow and nose, and black/brown coloring for the and eyes and whiskers.
While the strawberry cupcake and strawberry buttercream combination were good together, I thought the frosting made everything a tad too sweet, so I think next time I'll go with a strawberry cream cheese frosting instead. Or maybe even a honey cream cheese frosting. I just love the tang in a nice cream cheese frosting!
Anyway, Happy Birthday Hsing! Hope you (and Avery and Chenchi) enjoyed the cupcakes!