Thursday, March 19, 2009

Food For Thought Thursdays: Lemon Cupcakes

Since Spring is officially starting this week, I thought to myself, let's celebrate with cupcakes! What's more sunny and fun than lemons? Cherry B has found the perfect recipe. If you have children, have fun in the kitchen and let them frost the cupcakes. They'll love it, trust me.

1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
½ recipe Lemon Curd (Recipe follows) or 1 cup purchased lemon curd
1 recipe Lemon Frosting (Recipe follows)

Tip For buttermilk- if you don't have buttermilk you can substitute sour milk in the same amount. For each cup of sour milk needed, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup of total liquid. stir and let stand for 5 minutes before using.

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar lemon peel, and lemon juice; beat until will combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beat well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat on low speed after each addition until just combined.
3. Bake in a 350˚ oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean
4.Let cool completely. To assemble cupcakes remove center of cupcake using the cone method. Set cone aside. Trim the excess tip of the cone. Fill the lemon curd. Replace cone. Frost with lemon frosting and garnish with lemon peel.

Lemon Frosting
Finley shred 1 teaspoon lemon peel; set aside. Combine two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened; ½ cup butter, softened; and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, beat well. Gradually beat in 2 ½ to 2 ¾ additional sifted powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Stir in lemon peel.

Lemon curd (I halved this recipe for cupcakes)

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
6 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons water
6 beaten egg yolks
½ cup butter cut in to pieces

1. In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir half of the lemon mixture into egg yolks. Return the egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook to gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
2. Add butter pieces, stirring until melted. Cover surface of curd with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour for up to 48 hours. Store in refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months.
*Curd may need to be sieved for a smoother texture
* Use room temperature egg yolks

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