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Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Curd Filling
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I love it when an idea comes together.  When what I’ve been dreaming up in my head turns out just how I pictured it.  That was these lemon cupcakes.  I had made this recipe as full-on lemon poppy cake a few years back for a girlfriend’s baby shower and have since wanted to remake the recipe not only to share with all of you (because it’s pretty awesome) but also because I’ve always thought a cupcake version would be perfectly delightful.

And I was right.  The lemon cupcakes are soft-crumbed clouds with a dollop of fresh raspberry curd running through the center, topped with a billowy mound of the fluffiest lemon buttercream I’ve ever eaten.  The cupcakes themselves are sturdy and soft at the same time, a cupcake trait not always easy to achieve, and they were able to withstand a hollowed-out the center for the curd and the frosting on top without falling into pieces after the first couple of bites.  Of course flavor-wise, berries and citrus are a match made in heaven and even though you’d like to think that these cupcakes would be too lemony and tart between the cake and the frosting, the bright raspberry curd keeps perfect balance.  Of course, some sugar helps with this balance as well. ;)

You’ll cone-out the center of each cupcake and add some of your very own, homemade raspberry curd (don’t cut corners and buy it!), a treat worth licking the spoon for in and of itself.  If you’ve never made curd before, it’s quite a simple process which involves straining out all of the seeds so you’re left with a thick and silky sweet condiment that can be spread onto biscuits or scones, drizzled over ice cream, or used however else you can dream up.  It’s a lovely and necessary component to these cupcakes and I wouldn’t skip making it.

The verdict from Kyle, the non-lemon-loving heathen that he is, was clearly indicated by the random wrappers I’ve found around the kitchen.  One or two before I get home from work…another one while I’m making dinner…you get the point.  We both adore these lemon cupcakes and I know you will too.  In fact, I love them so much that I’m contributing them to Celebrations.com Memorial Day Virtual Blogger Potluck Party that I’ve been invited to.  Have a look on Celebrations (link below) to see the party as a whole and be sure to stop by the other awesome bloggers’ blogs to see what they brought to the party as well.

Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Curd Filling

Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the raspberry curd:
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 pint ripe raspberries or 1 12-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • For the lemon cupcakes:
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • For the lemon buttercream frosting:
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • For garnish:
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. To make the raspberry curd: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt, and cook, mashing the berries. Stir frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until fully chilled. The curd can be made 2-3 days in advance.
  2. To make the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat just until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl (not plastic), clean and dry the mixer bowl and reattach it with the paddle attachment.
  4. Add the butter to the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Mix in the lemon zest. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in ¼ cup of the milk until just blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour; scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat until just blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Once incorporated, add in the rest of the whites (including any liquid that may have accumulated on the bottom of the bowl) and gently fold in until well combined; no white should remain.
  5. Using a large cookie/ice cream scoop, divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through the baking time. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove them from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the heavy cream and lemon juice and beat for one minute longer; the frosting should be light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble: Once the cupcakes have cooled, hollow out the center of each cupcake using the cone method and spoon about 1 tsp of raspberry curd in to each hollowed-out cupcake. The filling should sit just shy of the top of the cupcake. Frost as desired, taking care not to push the curd out of the cupcake with the weight of the frosting. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
  8. Serve and store at room temperature, though the frosting will soften significantly at temperatures above 75° F.

Source

source: adapted from Annie’s Eats

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Whole Lemon Muffins
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Whole Lemon Muffins

When I set out to make muffins, I want a muffin. Not some wimpy, under-flavored piece of cake trying to be a muffin.  My ideal muffin has got to be to boldly flavored.  It’s got to have a soft crumb.  And Lord knows, it’s got to have a meaty muffin top.  Essentially, The Pastry Queen has got my ideal muffin covered and it was just my luck to be able to choose this recipe this week.  With the addition of an entire lemon (yes, skin, pith, juice, and pulp), these aptly named Whole Lemon Muffins have got the boldly flavored requirement covered while miraculously not being overly tart, as I feared they might be.  With little pieces of lemon floating around the muffin, they are the perfectly flavored lemon muffin.  The addition of yogurt yields a soft crumb, and the fact that you’ll fill the batter up to the top of the muffin cup will leave you with a great big muffin top (my favorite part!) even though I made the muffins in a standard-size muffin tin.  There were very few changes I made to the recipe aside from halving it (which yielded 9 muffins):

  1. I omitted the nuts from the recipe
  2. I added 3 tsp of poppy seeds [to the halved recipe]
  3. Next time, I would consider adding some coarse sugar to the muffin tops for a little sparkle and crunch in place of the glaze

Whole Lemon Muffins

Watermelon Lemonade
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When given the choice of lemonade or iced tea, I’m of the iced tea camp.  To me, the flavor of lemonade has always been overload for my palate.  Too much sour. Too much sweet.  Just too much.  So you could imagine my excitement when I saw that Ashley chose Watermelon Lemonade for her Project Pastry Queen recipe last week.  So I debated…do I make it or do I skip it?  I decided to go for it – all of the recipes chosen so far for PPQ have turned out so well thus far that I had faith in this recipe.

And I’m so happy I went for it!  Plain and simple, I LOVED this lemonade.  I did need to add a little water (maybe 1/2 cup) to the lemonade because it was just a touch too tart for my tastes but I think I may be a lemonade convert.  Seriously, I’m completely addicted to this stuff!  This drink is just the perfect summer drink and even though summer is starting to draw to a close, I’m definitely bringing this to the next event we’re hitting up before Fall sets in.

This lemonade is a piece of cake to put together and you can hit up Ashley’s blog, Delish, for the recipe.   And be sure to check out what everyone else thought of this lemonade!

French Lemon-Glazed Madeleine Cookies
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The elusive madeleine.  It seems as if every food blogger as attempted them and yet only a handful seem to succeed.  See, they’re a tricky bunch.  And apparently there’s two schools of thought regarding the use of baking powder – do you want the hump or not?  The hump and the pretty little scalloped indentations seem to be what get people the most.  So if you want the hump, yes, use the baking powder.  If you want the indentations (isn’t that what makes the presentation?), take the advice of David Lebovitz and freeze your floured molds for at least three hours prior to baking and for the love of all things French, don’t spread the batter in the mold.

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