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Monday, April 25, 2011

I interrupt these Vietnam recaps... talk about a cupcake.

Lemon Curd Cupcakes to be exact.

You might remember a couple months ago when I made this Lemon Curd Cake.  There's a birthday coming up this week and the birthday girl is a BIG fan of lemon cake.  She's actually a fan of anything lemon, but really, does it get any better than lemon curd cake?

I decided to use the same Martha Stewart Lemon Curd Cake recipe but turn it in to cupcakes. The result was mediocre. Sure, the cupcakes tasted alright, but they didn't stay as fluffy and light as other cupcake recipes I have. Add a lemon curd center and cream cheese frosting though and they went from OK to AWESOME in a matter of seconds.

I found these super cute Cath Kidson cupcake liners too - they screamed SPRING to me.

In goes the batter

When cool, take an apple corer and take out the center. Eat the little bits while filling the middle with lemon curd

I switched up the frosting this time. When I made this as a cake I used the recommended meringue frosting. This time I wanted something that packed a little more punch, so I used Nigella's cream cheese frosting recipe. The tangy frosting went well with the sour lemon curd, and both were balanced by the mellow flavor of the white base cake.

Lemon Curd Cake 
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
I only used one type of flour (all-pourpose) which I think is why I got a denser cake. I suggest using half and half as the recipe calls for. 

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups all-pourpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
Lemon Curd (homemade or store bought - I used Dutchy Originals Organic Lemon Curd)

- Preheat the oven to 350* F (about 170* C), line cupcake pan and set aside. Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, lemon zest and lemon juice.

- In a large bowl, mix the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

- Turn the mixer down to low, and slowly add in the flour mixture in four parts. Alternate adding the flour and sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mix. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.

- Divide batter between cupcake liners and bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating half way through to ensure even baking. Let the cupcakes rest for a couple of minutes in the pan before removing and cooling on a wire rack.

- Once the cupcakes are cool, remove the center of the cupcake with the apple corer - be careful not to go all the way to the bottom, try to leave a small amount of cake on the liner. Use a small spoon to drop in the lemon curd until it reaches the top. Leave to set.

- Frost with cream cheese buttercream and enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Nigella's Kitchen cookbook
I added about 1 tsp vanilla extract to help round out the flavors. Feel free to add if you like or make without per the original recipe. I love using Nigella's recipes as the directions are no fuss and super easy, it doesn't get much easier than this!

500g powdered sugar
125g cream cheese
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp lemon juice (or cider vinegar)

- Mix powdered sugar, cream cheese and butter until incorporated.

- Add lemon juice (and vanilla, if using) and mix again to combine until smooth and glossy.

- Decorate as needed, try to get some on the cupcakes and not just in your mouth (I always have trouble with this step).

mix - bake - fill - frost - unwrap - ENJOY


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