They call me mellow yellow…

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The cupcake has become very popular with flavours varying from the classic vanilla to the popular oreo to the more unusual chocolate cupcake with Nutella-Kahlua ganache and Ferrero Rocher, my eyes widened at this flavour too, talk about chocolate heaven. You name the flavour and you can guarantee that there will be a cupcake version of it somewhere. Cupcakes are one of my go to bakes that I love to rustle up every now and then, granted I haven’t baked them in months as they do require a a good bit of time.

So I had a family BBQ at the weekend and I decided to try lemon meringue cupcakes in the hopes of  encouraging the sun to continue shining.

Lemon Cupcake Ingredients: Makes 24 (lemon curd and meringue recipe ingredients below)

  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz unsalted butter (softened)
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp of milk

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Preheat your oven to 190C on conventional. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer or with a handheld whisk for a good 20 minutes until it’s pale like this:

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Add in your eggs and mix well, I usually do this by hand with a wooden spoon as it’s just handier. Add in your lemon zest, juice and milk, sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix gently together.

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Then spoon  the mix into cupcake cases (the more colourful the case, the better), I usually put in a heaped dessertspoon, the mix should fill half the case.

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Pop into the oven to bake for 17-20 minutes until they’re a golden colour, this all depends on your oven

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What you want is the colour on the right rather than the left. My cupcakes on the left got 3 minutes extra in the oven because I was too distracted watching Pitch Perfect 2, acca-how dare I not pay attention to my baking, I know, I know. Thankfully I wasn’t as distracted with the second batch and I had a trusty alarm set to remind me too.

So while the cupcakes are baking I made the lemon curd. I use a recipe from the BBC food website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lemon_curd_68499) and I swear by it, it hasn’t failed me yet (*touches the nearest piece of wood). I halved this lemon curd recipe for the cupcake and it was the perfect amount, with a few spoonfuls left over for tasting of course.

Over a bain marie stir the lemon zest, juice, sugar and butter until the butter has melted, pour the whisked eggs into the lemon mixture and whisk until well combined. Stir the mixture every now and then until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. This usually takes around 15 minutes or so, I’d encourage plenty of tasting here too, just to be sure of course. Then leave it to cool.

While the lemon curd was cooling I scooped out a little hole in the middle of the cupcakes with a teaspoon. You could use these little cake bits to make a little dessert on the side, something along the lines of stewed fruits with ice-cream or…..you could just eat them, haha.

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To make your meringue, whisk three egg whites until stiff and they pass the upside down test. Slowly add in half a cup of caster sugar until you’ve a glossy mix and then whisk in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, soooo sweet, om nom.

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Once the lemon curd had cooled down I spooned the mixture into the cupcake holes, I like to fill them right to the top as I like mine really zesty. I spooned the meringue on top and swirled it with the spoon to create a peak. Now to grill the meringue. I use a little cooking torch to grill them until lightly golden. You can also grill them in the oven.

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The last step is every bakers favourite part, tasting the final product. Although it does require a good bit of work and a fair bit of time, the result is totally worth it and it’s definitely one I’ll do again, probably not for another few weeks though. Now what should be my next flavour……

 

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