Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

My gorgeous lemon curd cupcakes make the ideal store cupboard bakes. At this time of year, when our fruit cages are bare, all I need is some shop bought lemon curd and one solitary lemon to make these simple cupcakes sing. Very moreish, very pretty, and with a pleasingly generous dollop of curd inside the heart of each cake.

My own, makes 12 medium muffin-sized cupcakes

for the base:
125g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
125g light muscovado sugar
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Turn the oven to 180 (160 fan) and place medium cupcake cases in a 12 muffin baking tray. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, until smooth and fluffy.

2. Throw in the eggs one at a time and beat in, adding a spoonful of flour after each one. Then stir in the lemon zest and tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

3. Next sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, stirring gently until the batter is well combined.

4. Spoon the batter into each cupcake case, until they are approximately two-thirds full (you want to leave enough room for the cakes to rise).

5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. You'll know the cakes are done when a skewer comes out clean.

6. Take out of the oven and leave for a few minutes, before moving the cupcakes in their cases to a wire rack or plate to cool.

for the filling:
approx 180g lemon curd

7. Once the cupcakes are cool, use an apple corer or a sharp knife to remove the centre of the cake, then fill the hole with lemon curd.

8. When all the cupcakes have been filled, spread a little extra lemon curd over the top of each.

for the icing:
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
425g icing sugar
50ml milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
food colouring tint paste (I used Primrose, both by Sugarflair)
wafer butterflies, sugar flowers or lemon peel curls to decorate, optional

8. Beat the butter until creamy. Stir in the milk and mix together. 

9. Sift half the icing sugar into the mixture, and stir thoroughly, before adding the other half and continuing to stir until it is a thick paste. Take care stirring the icing sugar, as this is a bit messy, I tend to wear an apron as I've been known to accidentally drench myself in it when stirring too vigorously!

10. When the icing is combined, the only thing left to do is to colour it. With colour tint pastes you only need to add a pin prick amount before stirring it in to give the icing a beautiful pastel colour.

11. Get a pint glass and place a piping bag with a nozzle inside the glass, so that the nozzle is on the bottom of the glass. Fold the piping bag edges over the glass rim. Spoon the paste into the piping bag, then carefully take the bag out of the glass and twist the end of the bag so that the icing is well contained.

12. Pipe the icing over the cupcakes and decorate with sugar flowers or wafer butterflies, lemon peel curls or anything else you fancy. To pipe a rose, you start piping in the middle of the cupcake and work outwards. To pipe a classic swirl, you start piping at the outer edge of the cupcake and work inwards.

These cupcakes were idly baked to the sound of the Mazzy Star album She Hangs Brightly