pipe onto cupcakesToday marks my 32nd birthday so, although I won’t be making these today (I’m 39 weeks pregnant!), I’ve decided to blog about one of my favourite cupcakes of all time.  These are lemon meringue cupcakes using Martha Stewart recipes from her Cupcakes cookbook and although they take a lot of time to make – I swear.. they are worth it!!

Here’s a cross section of one of the cupcakes…lemon meringue cupcake cross sectionFor the base, I prefer to use Martha’s super light white cupcake recipe.  Then I amp it up with her wondrous lemon curd.  And then finish it off with her amazing seven-minute frosting which is luscious and and browns oh-so-well with a small kitchen blow torch (ala creme brulee style).

INGREDIENTS
White cupcakes (makes 24)
3.25 cups sifted cake flour
1.5 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp (1.75 sticks / 200 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.75 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature

Lemon curd (makes about 2 cups)
2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature

Seven-minute frosting (makes about 8 cups)
1.5 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature

DIRECTIONS
White cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir vanilla into milk.sift dry ingredients together

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth.  Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy.beat butter and sugar together

Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until just combined after each.add dry ingredients and milk

In another bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not overmix).  Fold one third of the egg whites into batter to lighten.  Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.add egg whites

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Firmly tap the tins once on countertop to release any air bubbles.divide batter evenly

Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.baked cupcakes

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I then used a small Japanese vegetable cutter (approximately 2.2cm / 1 inch in diameter) to core out the centres of the cupcakes and used the end of a spoon to lift out the cut out from the cupcake.utensils to make holes in cupcakes

I used to use an apple corer but found that I always wanted a lot more lemon curd than an apple corer would allow…core out central cupcake

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Lemon curd
Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.making the lemon curd

Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from the heat.  Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.lemon curd with butter added

Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl, and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

Then you can either use a spoon or what I prefer – a piping bag – to distribute the lemon curd into the centres of the cupcakes..lemon curd filled cupcakes

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Seven-minute frosting
Combine 1.5 cups of sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.  Continue boiling, without stirring until syrup reaches 230F.boil until syrup reaches 230F

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  With mixer running, add remaining 2 tbsp sugar beating to combine.whisk egg whites until soft peaks form

As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230F, remove from heat.  With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream.slowly add syrup to egg white mixture

Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks from, about 7 minutes.  Use immediately.until mixture is completely cool and stiff peaks form

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These are then piped onto the filled cupcakes and a blow torch is used to create the browned, smokey effect…lemon meringue cupcakeslemon meringue cupcakesBeautiful, light, flavoursome cupcakes!  Perfect for a special event or just a relaxing afternoon tea.. xx

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