Now that our summer holidays are coming to an end I am starting to think about all the recipes I have saved and read over the past few months that I am looking forward to trying, adapting and of course tasting!!
This is one that I did back in the spring but I’ve made a few times now and is the perfect partner to a mid afternoon tea or coffee or a perfect amount for a dessert with friends.
I usually use a store bought lemon curd ( I like the M&S one as its quite tart and not too sweet which complements the sweetness of the cake and meringue) but you can also make your own if your feeling adventurous.
Here’s the recipe:
For the cupcakes:
100g unsalted butter
100g golden caster sugar
100g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp milk (optional)
1 lemon zested
Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add the 2 eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the flour until completely mixed. If mixture seems a bit thick then add the milk ( I find it depends on the size of my eggs if I need the milk or not, if using medium eggs you may need the milk but if using large eggs you may not). Once mixed, fold in the zest from 1/2 the lemon.
Pour into cupcake cases till 2/3 full. Bake at 180F until done in the centre and golden. Leave on wire rack to cool.
Once cakes are cooled, use an apple corer to remove the middle of the cake, careful not to dig down to the bottom of the case, you want a bit of cake left at the bottom to hold the lemon curd in.
Fill the holes with the lemon curd to the top of the cake and leave aside while you make the meringue.
For the Meringue:
2 egg whites
50g caster sugar
Heat water and sugar in a small pan until it forms a sugar syrup (see tip below). Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Once the sugar syrup is ready, with the mixer on a low speed gently pour into the whisked egg whites in a steady stream. Keep mixing at all times – a stand up mixer works best for this to free your hands. Once all incorporated and the mixture forms a meringue texture leave to rest a few minutes.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue mixture and pipe in swirls onto the cupcakes. If you have a kitchen blow torch then use this to caramelise the meringues if not then you can pop them under a grill for a few minutes, but keep a close watch so they don’t burn.
To decorate you can use the remainder of the lemon zest on top of the meringues to add a splash of colour, or decorate any way you choose!
Tip for sugar syrup: to know when your syrup is ready either use a candy thermometer or if you don’t have once then fill a glass with ice cold water take a small amount of syrup on a teaspoon and let it fall I to the glass of water. If the syrup forms a hard strand of sugar then it’s ready, if it disperses then keep boiling until the correct consistency.