Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds!

I decided to go with a simple cupcake – I’ve never made cupcakes before and took this opportunity as an excuse to give them a go. The ‘surprise’ inside these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes is the lemon curd, which oozes out of the middle when you bite into them! I went with a recipe from Sarah Hobbs on Taste.com.au and was pretty darn pleased with the result.

I did adapt the recipe a bit, slightly increasing the lemon zest in the cake batter and lemon curd as other reviewers had recommended it. The main change I made was switching the French meringue to a Swiss one. The Swiss meringue, which is heated prior to beating the egg whites, provides a denser, more stable meringue and personally I think it’s the nicest of the meringues – I just wish I’d piled more of it on!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKES

Makes 12

Ingredients: (Click here for Unit Converter)

Lemon Curd

  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 50g butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon rind
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • ½ cup (100g) caster sugar

Cakes

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (125ml) milk

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup (155g)
  • caster sugar

Method:

  1. For the lemon curd: Combine the egg, butter, lemon rind and juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool and thicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C  (360°F). Line twelve 1/3-cup (80ml) muffin pans with paper cases.
  3. For the cakes: Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the flour and milk, in alternate batches, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined – don’t overmix.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly among the lined pans and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Use a small knife to cut a cone shaped piece out of the top of each cake, about 1.5cm deep, leaving a 2cm-wide edge. Spoon the lemon curd evenly among cupcakes.
  6. For the meringue: Place egg whites and sugar in a clean, dry bowl and whisk them together. Heat the mixture on a bain marie – bring a small amount of water to a simmer in a pan that is large enough to accommodate your mixing bowl. Place the bowl on top of the pan and make sure it doesn’t touch the water. Whisk the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl and whisk the meringue using an electric whisk until you can make soft peaks in it.
  7. Spoon meringue on top of each cake and use the back of a spoon to create peaks. Use a small brulee torch to grill the meringue until lightly golden. Alternatively, transfer cupcakes to an oven tray; place under a preheated grill until lightly golden.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Top image – Canon 18-55mm lens; Bottom two images – Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting

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