Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd

It has been a LONG time since I have pulled out my cake decorating kit.  I think the last time was when I made the red velvet lentil cupcakes.  

We invited some friends over for dinner.  I guess it was an Easter supper, but I knew I wouldn't be cooking a turkey or a ham.  So, I tried to make up for it by making an Easter-themed dessert.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd

I made the cupcakes and curd a day in advance.  Hopefully this means that I've evolved to pace myself appropriately when preparing food.

Lemon Curd  

Can't go wrong with anything from Ina Garten.

4 lemons, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt

Remove the zest of the lemons with a vegetable peeler or zester, being careful to avoid the white pith.

Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 175 degrees F, or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat.

For the cupcakes and icing, I following this recipe from My Baking Addiction.

2 1/4 cups cake flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Centre a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. 

Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Vanilla Icing

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
I knew I wanted to decorate using white, green and orange icing, so I separated the recipe into three containers.

To assemble, I cut out a hole in the middle and piped in the lemon curd.

Then, I put the cut-outs back on the cupcake.

Then, I just had fun and iced the cupcakes in various ways:

Verdict -- I was happy to see our friends' kids clap their hands with excitement when the cupcakes were brought out.  Everyone enjoyed the cupcakes.  There is a tonne of sugar in them.  The icing was too sugary for my liking.  But, I'd definitely use the cake and curd recipe again. StumbleUpon


Torviewtoronto said...

flavourful cupcakes looks wonderful beautifully decorated :)

That Girl said...

I was in the supermarket today and I actually paused by the lemon curd, but in the end decided not to pick it up. It's almost as though I must have been channeling you!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I definitely love lemon curd so these would be something I would LOVE.

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