I first saw Martha’s Lemon Meringue Cupcakes on Linda’s My Kitchen Produce Blog and I knew I had to try them. I am a big fan of lemon meringue pie and I also love using my blow torch on desserts. When some church friends of mine asked to make some cupcakes for a fundraiser for their mission trip to Africa, I knew I wanted to try these out.
What can I say.. there is just something magical about the combination of toasted meringue frosting with lemon curd – the sweet marshmallowy frosting combined with the silky sweet but tart curd is just wonderful. Its even better when the frosting is toasted, which I think tastes just like roasted marshmallows over a flame (a taste I’ve grown an addiction for from childhood). It just adds another layer of smokiness which I think is just unbeatable.
Anyway I’m pretty glad that they took most of the cupcakes (I saved myself a few for me and Mike but not too many) cos I seriously would have ended up eating the whole tray, lol. That would have been a rather calorific affair..
Martha recommends spooning the lemon curd directly on top of the cupcake, but I was a little worried that it would make the frosting slide off, so I cut the tops off my cupcakes and spooned it inside the cupcake instead. I think it worked rather well 🙂
Lemon Cupcake Recipe (adapted from Martha)
3 cups plain flour + 1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup of butter, softened
1.5 cups caster sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
zest of 3 lemons (Martha recommends also adding 3 T lemon juice, I didn’t have any and it was fine, but probably could have been a little more lemony.)
1 scant cup of milk + 1 T white vinegar in a bowl together, left for about 5 mins (my ‘makeshift’ buttermilk)
Heat oven (to about 180 for 10 mins, then turn down to 150-160 deg C), combine flour + baking powder.
Cream sugar and butter then add eggs one at a time. Add lemon zest. Add flour and ‘buttermilk’ alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Bake batter in a lined muffin tray (or in free standing cupcake ‘cups’ as I did) for about 15-20 mins or until golden brown (I usually use this method instead of timing it).
Cool on a cooling rack until cakes are no longer warm. Using a small sharp knife, slice a circle downwards into the cake so you have a small cone. Remove from cupcake and slice the bottom of the cone so you still have the flat top of the cake. Spoon lemon curd into the cupcake and replace the cupcake top. Pipe meringue frosting on top and torch it with your blow torch et voila. Lemon meringue cupcake!
Lemon Curd (Martha’s version)
6 egg yolks
lemon juice from three lemons
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup butter, cold, cubed
Combine yolks, juice, sugar in a saucepan and whisk continuously over med-high heat until thickened. Take off the heat and add butter – whisk until melted. *note – mine took AGES to thicken. i dunno why, maybe the heat wasn’t high enough, maybe i didn’t wait long enough, maybe i didn’t add enough egg yolks. i’ve tried better lemon curd recipes before, but i had to add some cornflour to thicken it a little, but after that it worked out fine.
6 egg whites room temperature
1 cup of white sugar
pinch ‘o salt
Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt in a super squeaky clean bowl (note: important to have no grease on any of your utensils used to whip your egg whites otherwise they won’t whip properly.) Place bowl over a pot of boiling water (making sure the bowl fits) and whip continuously for five minutes. Make sure you whip those egg whites baby cos you don’t want them to overcook and coagulate!!
Take off the heat and whip for about another 7-10 minutes until you reach stiff peaks. Congrats. You just made marshmallow / seven minute frosting! Pat yourself on the back 🙂 You can use this wondrous mixture to do many, many wonderful things.. include frost cupcakes 🙂
I will definitely be making these again! It’s just a matter of time.. 😉