Celebrate with strawberries in June

It’s strawberry time! We’ve stopped growing them outside now as it’s just a constant battle against slugs and birds as to who gets the fruit first. Instead we grow a few pots of strawberries inn the tunnel. They taste wonderful as we can pick them just as they are perfectly ripe and the juice dribbles down your chin – who needs sugar and cream!

If you’re having a birthday party for the queen why not try a batch of these to take along

Chocolate Muffins with Strawberry Cheesecake Frosting and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Makes 12 muffins. Takes about 35 minutes

For the cupcakes:

125gsoft butter

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

85g SR flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

40g cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons milk

For the frosting:

200g full fat Philadelphia cheese

200g icing sugar, sifted

150g strawberries

For decoration:

About 100g dark or milk chocolate

3 strawberries, cut into quarters

12 Strawberries for dipping

For the dipped strawberries

  • Try and use strawberries with the stalks left on to use for dipping. Lay a piece of greaseproof paper on a flat tray.
  • Break about ¾ of the chocolate up and melt in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
  • Carefully dip the strawberries into the chocolate, rolling them around until covered to half way up the fruit. Leave to set on the greaseproof paper then using cool hands remove and keep in a cool place.

    Yum yum yum!

    Yum yum yum!

For the muffins

  • Line the muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time and beat in well. Add a little of the flour if the mixture looks like it’s about to split.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa then fold gently into the mixture. Add a little of the milk to make a soft dropping consistency.
  • Pile the mixture into the muffin cases and pop into the oven 190C/fan 170/375F/gas5 for about 15 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch. Leave to cool.

For the frosting:

  • Hull the strawberries and cut in half. Pop in a liquidiser and blitz until pureed. Pass through a sieve to remove the seeds if they bother you.
  • Fold puree into cream cheese
  • Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth and creamy then gradually fold in the strawberry puree. The mixture needs to be thick enough to spread so only add enough to give a good colour, taste and thickness. Save any spare to serve with the muffins. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  • When the muffins are cool I like to peel off the paper cases but you could leave them on. Spread the frosting over the top then top with a quarter of a strawberry. Grate some chocolate over the top to finish off.
  • spread onto buns

Serve with the chocolate dipped strawberries and any leftover puree. These buns are best eaten on the day they’re made but will keep in the fridge for eating the next day.