Despite the fact that I’ve become a far more adventurous eater in the last few years than I ever was before, there are some flavor combinations that make me hesitate.  Even when I know it’s a classic pairing and one that many people love, sometimes I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.  One of those combinations is strawberries paired with balsamic vinegar.  I am always worried it will taste too much like, well, vinegar.

Clearly, I’ve been overthinking it.  (Overthinking things is a special talent of mine.)  Back in April we visited Josie and she made us a fantastic strawberry balsamic ice cream.  Manners definitely trump weird food quirks so of course I ate it, and to my surprise I kind of loved it.  The balsamic was barely there, and if you didn’t know you probably wouldn’t have guessed it, yet it added a special something to that ice cream.  So…same deal here.  A fantastic strawberry cupcake that is just a little bit different and a little bit more awesome because of it.

I opted for a browned butter cupcake base so that the balsamic flavor would not be entirely obscured by something like a strawberry cake.  The frosting is the ever popular strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.  A little nest of macerated balsamic strawberries and a balsamic drizzle pull it all together.  And it is good…very good, indeed.  I took them to a party over the weekend to see how they would be received by others and they got great reviews.  In fact, they seemed even more popular than the funfetti ones I brought along as well.  So let’s all raise a strawberry balsamic cupcake to stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new things.