Monday, April 28, 2014

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Due to circumstances beyond our control we did Easter a week later this year.  That was just fine with me, as it gave me extra time to figure out what I was going to make for dessert.  As you may know I'm not a natural born fan of cupcakes but they do have their uses and for some reason I just had a vision in my head of vanilla cupcakes topped with candied violets. I have about a million tiny violets all over the yard this time of year and I love preserving them with sugar and using them for decorating desserts.    

On Saturday my sister and I went to the  Spring festival at Terrain featuring local artists, craftspeople, brewers, farmers and musicians. Some of the highlights were talking to the friendly folks at Happy Cat Farm;  beautiful handmade maple cheese boards from Peg and Awl; delicious kombucha teas from Jessica at Inspired Brews (she is also a letterpress artist, her business card is a work of art!); and I picked up some incredible eggs from the Farm at Doe Run.  Easter is all about the eggs after all. 

And lets talk about these eggs.  They are gorgeous inside and out!  I used the yolks to make lemon curd, the whole eggs and whites for cupcakes, and the whites for butter cream (however, please read this before consuming raw eggs).  No waste there, wouldn't want to waste any of these beauties.

Vanilla cupcakes are a work in progress for me.  After much research this is the latest recipe. However, recipes notwithstanding, in the end I think the most important thing about vanilla cupcakes is to take them out of the oven one minute before you did.

lemon curd cupcakes

2 & 2/3 cups unbleached AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 & 1/3 cups white sugar
1 cup room temperature butter
4 eggs (room temp)
2 whites (room temp)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
lemon curd   

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans with papers and set aside.  In a stand mixer cream butter and add sugar, beat on medium for one minute.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down the  bowl as needed.

Add half the flour to the butter mixture and beat to combine.  Add milk and vanilla, beat to combine.  Add the rest of the flour, scrap down the bowl and beat just to combine.  In a clean bowl whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold by hand thoroughly, but gently into main mixture.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pans.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Turn the pan and bake for 8 more minutes (or 7), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (but by then they may be too dry, just sayin').  Cool on a wire rack before filling and frosting. 

Fit a pastry bag with a small round tip, fill with lemon curd.  Insert in tops of cupcakes and pipe a small amount in each cupcake.  Frost with butter cream and top with candied violets.  Makes 20 cupcakes.


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