Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd and italian meringue

Lemon sponge topped with light and fluffy italian meringue and the most delicious, zesty and refreshing lemon curd.  It will make you feel like it is summer… even in the middle of January! 


For the cupcakes:
  • 1,5 cup plain flour
  • 1,5 tsp baking powder
  • 110g soft unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of 1/4 of large lemon (or 1/2 small lemon)
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

For the meringue:
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt

    Beat the butter with sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time and mix when between each addition. 
    Add the zest and lemon juice and stir until combined.
    Mix the flour and baking powder in one bowl and yoghurt with vanilla paste in another.

    Add a little bit of the flour mixture and stir, then add some yoghurt.  Repeat until all ingredients are combined- remember not to over-mix the batter.  
    Divide into 12 muffin cases.

    Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C  for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and baked through- skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean.  
    Leave to cool completely.

    Fill each cupcake with lemon curd. 

    To make italian meringue put the sugar into a pan with 40ml water and place on a high heat. Bring to the soft-ball stage (118C on a sugar thermometer) which will take about 10 minutes. To test without a thermometer, drop a tiny bit of sugar syrup into a bowl of very cold water. When it forms a soft sticky ball, it is ready

    While waiting for the sugar syrup, start whisking the egg whites with the salt in a clean glass or metal bowl. Whisk until a light froth forms, stopping before any soft peaks can be formed. Once the sugar syrup has reached the soft-ball stage, beat the egg whites at the same time as pouring the syrup onto them in a thin stream. (Don’t pour the syrup over the whisk, but down the side of the bowl.) Add the pepper and continue to whisk for 10 minutes or until the egg whites are glossy and stiff.

    Pipe the meringue on top of each cupcake and brown with blowtorch.


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