Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream Cupcakes + Giveaway

I made these ice cream cupcakes for a barbecue at our house a few weeks ago. The ice cream is strawberry balsamic, from a recipe at Tender Crumb. It had absolutely amazing flavor: ultra creamy, bursting with strawberries, a little tang from the balsamic vinegar and creme fraiche. It was also very easy to mix up, as it's Philadelphia style rather than custard-based. The amount below makes a little over 3 pints, and was a bit too much for my ice cream maker, so you may want to reduce the quantity depending on your machine. You can use regular balsamic vinegar if that's what you have, but since we had a nice white balsamic in the cupboard, I thought it added a delicate flavor and didn't interfere with the pink color of the ice cream.

The ice cream is paired with angel food cupcakes based on the devilish angel food cake from Sherry Yard's Desserts by the Yard. I couldn't find a tube pan (although I do think we have one), so I decided to bake up the angel food cake in cupcake tins. They turned out a little flat (I think I under-filled the tins), but were really delicious! These little cakes are very sweet, though, so I definitely think they're best paired with a less sweet accompaniment like this ice cream.

I'm also giving away a copy of Desserts by the Yardin honor of my 200th post (which I totally missed celebrating as this is #210)! I ended up with two copies of this cookbook after a snafu with Amazon (I ordered it used and never got it, so I ordered it new and then the used one finally came), and because I wasn't responsible enough to return one of them on time, I'm giving the extra away to a lucky reader (U.S. addresses only, please)! This cookbook has all sorts of recipes from simple (Quintissential Chocolate Chip Cookies, Honey-Glazed Spago Cornbread) to fancy (Ginger Cream Tartlets with Poached Figs and Persian Mulberries, Triple-Silken Pumpkin Pie, Lime-Scented Floating Islands with Yuzu Curd Ice Cream), with absolutely gorgeous photos to boot.

Here's how to enter: You can get up to three entries to the contest by posting separate comments below (see details). You must leave either your blog address or your email address so that I can get in touch with you if you win.

1. You get one entry just for posting a comment! Very easy.
2. You can get a second entry by posting about this contest on twitter, and leaving a link to your tweet in a separate comment.
3. Finally, you can also get an entry into the contest by baking either a recipe from this blog or a recipe by Sherry Yard and blogging about it. Just post the link to your post in the comments section!

The contest will be open until June 1, and then I'll pick a random number to decide the winner! Good luck to all. Now, here are the recipes!

Angel Food Cupcakes (adapted from Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard)
Makes about 15 cupcakes

1 cup plus 2 T cake flour
1 cup plus 2 T sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
9 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and still hot

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter the bottoms only of your cupcake tins, being careful not to grease the sides.
2. Sift together the flour, 1/2 cup plus 1 T of the sugar, and the baking powder.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam. Add the cream to tartar and 1 T sugar, and continue to beat while gradually adding the rest of the sugar. Beat the whites until they form medium-firm peaks. Add the vanilla seeds and continue beating while quickly streaming in the hot butter (it helps to have a stand mixer or a partner for this step).
4. Very gently fold in the dry ingredients.
5. Divide the batter among the cupcake tins, filling each about 3/4 full. Place each tin on a larger cookie sheet or half sheet pan to protect the delicate bottoms of the cupcakes, and bake until the tops are lightly browned and a tester comes out clean (about 20 minutes).
6. As you take the tins out of the oven, cover each with a clean cooling rack and flip upside down so that the cupcakes can cool upside down (this should prevent them from falling). When the cupcakes are cool, gently remove them from the pans and serve with ice cream.

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream (adapted from Tender Crumb, original recipe here)
Makes about 3 pints

1 1/4 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
1/2 cup plus 1 T sugar
2 T white balsamic vinegar
2 T grapefruit vodka (or any flavored or plain vodka)
1/2 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Mix together the strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and vodka in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about an hour.
2. Pour the strawberry mixture into a food processor. Add the creme fraiche and heavy cream and process until just combined, with small chunks of the strawberries still remaining. Taste, and adjust for sugar and vinegar as needed. It should pretty much make you swoon at this point! Remember that the ice cream will taste less sweet when frozen, so take this into account when adjusting.
3. Chill the mixture, then freeze in an ice cream maker.
I'm also entering these cupcakes in the Ice Cream Cupcakes roundup hosted by Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious! Make sure to check back there in early June for a roundup of ice cream cupcakes.


  1. OMG Sara, this cupcake look utterly tempting! Yum!

  2. This looks great! Thanks for posting this recipe and doing this giveaway. Congrats on the 200th post!

  3. Entry #1!!!

    ~Erin :)

  4. Entry #2!!! Right now I have a 50% chance of winning.

  5. Oh, this looks so good. When I saw the ice cream on Linda's site, I thought the vodka was so interesting! And the addition of anything my Sherry Yard is a delight! Yummy!

  6. Yum, anything strawberry right now please.

  7. Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream must be the most elegant non-chocolate ice cream I've ever seen! And what a great idea to scoop it over angel food cupcakes! I'm loving this for a outdoor-party summer dessert!
    I can't enter your contest, silly Canadian address!!!!! I hope you get a good tunrout, though :)

  8. Yum!! I love the combo of strawberry and balsamic! I'm excited that you entered! Thanks!

  9. Great recipes I am goint to have to try them!
    Count me in the giveaway!

  10. Oh... yum. I've got a long-standing love affair with balsamic strawberries, but I've not had it in ice cream. Thanks for posting this!

  11. Congratulations on your 200th post!

  12. That ice cream looks SO good! I love the little bits of strawberry as I always love lots of actual fruit in my ice cream. Delicious!

  13. Sara, a huge congrats on your 200th post - what a huge milestone!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this ice cream, and what a great idea to serve it up with angel food - yum! Linda

  14. That ice cream looks really, really yummy! I've heard good things about that book and it's on my "wish list"...I'm keeping my fingers crossed!! :)

  15. Ice cream cupcake looks yummy


  16. Adding balsamic vinegar to strawberry ice cream sounds really good!

  17. Your ice cream sounds light and summery! Yum! I've never tried white balsamic vinegar. I'll have to look for it at the grocery store.

  18. this looks SO refreshing and yummy! thanks for entering!


  19. These look so awesome! I love strawberry and balsamic. Thanks for linking up at my v-day blog hop!