Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry Thyme Stuffed Cupcakes

Strawberry Thyme Stuffed Cupcakes

Reverberations… The concept has been hovering in my mind. I doodled through high school and college physics but even I remember that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But in the case of human life, I wonder if actions should be described as having often exponentially larger reactions. One man cheats two friends. Those two friends are without money and they need their children and family to take care of them. Those children and families need to do more work to do so, and the stress affects their life adversely. You get the story.

My work has confoundingly stressful. Work environments are network of people. In general, the actions of small inconsequential people have small reverberations onto their fellow man. And some people have enormous wakes of reverberation; Madoff anyone? So this week at work, we are all standing in the wake of one man’s choice making a guess on how large the waves of change will get.

The pull and push of the ocean on your bare feet can be so comforting and enticing, but the ebb and flows of stress that will be upon me at work are frightening. So, how are we going to make it through? In part, the plan is to find those moments where all the stress exists squarely outside your consciousness—touchy feely as it is. My Belle is a whole cloud of such moments.

She is starting to love to bake. Baking with her takes some amount of concentration. I measure everything out and then bring it to the table for her to dump and stir. Inevitably overzealous actions occur; messes are created. I don’t know how to meditate but baking with Belle seems to me very close. My mind empties of work and life and instead I am focused on the actions at hand.

Strawberry Thyme Stuffed Cupcakes

For these cupcakes we had too many ohio grown strawberries (great problem to have) and I needed to use them up quickly. But, I did want a cake that was dense and a little more complex than straight strawberries. Belle has been growing some herbs and vegetables with her dad (garden might be overstating it.) So, she and her dad grabbed some lemon thyme from the garden. I have been consciously adding various herbs to Belle's dishes recently so that she acquires a taste for lovely fresh food but also so that she can enjoy the tastes of her labor. Thyme might be good in savory dishes, but I think it really works well with the chocolate and strawberries in these cupcakes. Very little is used so it is subtle but I think it adds a wonderful element to the cupcakes.

I am also sending these cupcakes to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska run by Haalo of Cook (anything) Almost Once and started by Kalyn of Kalyns kitchen.

Strawberry Thyme Stuffed Cupcakes
The grape cupcakes at Cupcake Bakeshop gave me the idea for these.

For the cake, I used the recipe at a Dash of Sass but added ½ tsp fresh thyme and a dash of balsamic

For the filling, strawberries macerated with sugar, thyme and balsamic

For the frosting, chocolate/cream cheese/ buttercream (basically my coconut frosting but without coconut or lime and with chocolate) with a bit of balsamic and brown sugar

To stuff them, think jack o lantern. Take off a top, cut a bit of cake from the core. Fill and replace the top.

Strawberry Thyme Stuffed Cupcakes


Elin Chia said...

Hi Maybelle's Mom :)

nice cupcakes...looks so delicious:)

Sophie said...

Ooh how pretty! I like how moist they look. I wish I could've stolen some of those strawberries from you :D. Baking with kiddos can be quite the adventure, these turned out so pink and fun.

Beets and Bonbons said...

These look delicious. I've been looking for ways to incorporate fresh herbs into desserts. Thanks for the suggestion!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

An original combo! Those cupcakes look delicious! Yummy!



Melissa said...

Baking with Belle is like meditation? How wonderful. Those activities, those moments are all too rare.

Another absolutely beautiful post. You really work magic with your words sometimes.

pam said...

Yay for your little baker! She did a fine job!

The Cooking Photographer said...

This was a very nice post. What a wonderful time to bake with your little girl.


krysta said...

i like the idea of this combo. i have been playing around with different flavor profiles just to shake it up. and baking with the kids doesn't seem to get any less messy when they get older... ugh.

Chou said...

Meditation, indeed. It is an interesting byproduct of our "plugged in" lives that we often rarely concentrate on one single thing--what a lovely thing that you get to find your moment of mental quietness in creating memories with Belle. On a side note, I'm very intrigued by the idea of thyme in a cupcake.

The CFT said...

Loving the desserts

Zoe said...

These are so adorable. Like a pillow of heaven!

Heidi Robb said...

Wishing you didn't have the stress at work. Baking these luscious little fairy cakes with the best helper must truly serve to take the edge off.

Chibog in Chief said...

This is so gorgeous!! I love the idea of thyme and strawberry!!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of stuffing these delicious cupcakes with strawberry and thyme - a delicious combination!

Liz said...

That sounds like a really great flavor combination for a dessert, very creative.

dana aka Gluten Free In Cleveland said...

These adorable cupcakes are the kind that makes you want to invite a bunch of friends over for a sunday afternoon party. Or okay, that's what it makes *me* want to do.

Can't wait to try this out someday!

Elizabeth said...

I would never have thought of using lemon thyme with strawberries! But I can see it is a good idea.

Your cupcakes look beautiful! And the perfect antidote for dealing with idiocy at work (what IS wrong with some people?!).