I love lemon curd. Nothing is better than biting into a cake, tart or pie and getting smacked around the face by a big zing of lemon – right?!
Part of the reason I was so disappointed with the lemon meringue torta I had at Pizza Express recently was that earlier in the week I’d been making my own lemon curd for these cupcakes, and, without wanting to sound too arrogant, the bland version they used jut couldn’t come close to it.
These cupcakes were for a friend’s birthday, and combine the best of both (lemon) worlds; lemon poppyseed cake and lemon meringue pie.
I wanted to bake something that was relatively light, as somewhat of an antidote to all the heavy Christmas food and stodgy winter puddings that having been wreaking havoc with my waistline over the past few months.
Not that I can exactly claim these are healthy, but they are light in flavour and texture, and the meringue frosting is certainly a little less bad for you than a buttercream or cream cheese icing would be.
They went down well with everyone who sampled them, and although the meringue would have looked better if I’d had a blowtorch to finish it overall I was still very happy with how these turned out.
- 150g self raising flour
- 120g caster sugar
- zest of a large lemon
- 1tbsp poppy seeds, toasted
- 2 medium eggs
- 65g natural yoghurt
- 120g butter, melted
Sift together the flour and sugar and stir in the lemon zest and poppyseeds. Beat the eggs and whisk in the natural yoghurt and melted butter, then add this to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Divide between 9 large cupcake cases and bake at 180 degrees (160 fan) for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and springy (but still quite light in colour).
For the filling and icing:
- 9 tsp lemon curd (I always use the Pink Whisk’s recipe)
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 large egg white
Once the cupcakes are cool, cut a hole in the centre of each and fill with 1 tsp of lemon curd, then replace the bits you’ve cut out so the top is level again. Heat the caster sugar in a saucepan with 25ml water. For the best results, use a sugar thermometer and take it off the heat when it reaches 230 degrees fahrenheit.
While the syrup is heating, whisk the egg white until stiff peaks start to form, then once the syrup reaches the right heat slowly pour it in down the side of the bowl, while you have the mixer running. Keep whisking until the bowl, and the meringue, completely cools. Then you can spoon the meringue into a piping bag to frost the cupcakes. At this point, if you have a blow torch you should absolutely use it, but if you don’t you can do what I did and either put them back in the oven on a low heat for a more cooked meringue, or blast them under the grill for brown tops and a marshmallowy inside. Both ways are good!
As these cupcakes star egg yolks in the curd and egg whites in the meringue, I think they’re perfect for this month’s Tea Time Treats, hosted for the first time by Jane at the Hedge Combers. Eggs is the theme, and as much as I love them scrambled, poached or in an omelette, in cakes they’re even better…