I caved to the fresher, lighter cupcake flavors this week. I’d been bopping around my favorite cooking and lifestyle blogs, and I kept seeing fresh fruits and lemon flavored desserts everywhere I went. My mouth was salivating and inspiration bit.
I tried my hand at a lemon chiffon cupcake filled with lemon curd. Disclaimer- This kitchen is currently totally DIY. I’m trying to bake sans mixer, sans juicer, sans all the fun toys that are available because I really want to learn and master the basic techniques, the old fashioned way. The exception in this recipe was the grater, as lemon zest in my mind, is most conducive to recipes in smaller pieces.
That being said…I had a BLAST with these cupcakes and they’re my current favorite to make…and eat. The culinary challenge for the week was making lemon curd from scratch. I had to hide it from myself once it was ready in order to a) focus on the cupcakes and frosting and b) not go into an intense sugar coma. It was extremely satisfying and a little decompressing to squeeze the juice out of 5 lemons, grate the zest off of 5 lemons, and separate 6 egg yolks. I then added sugar and boiled over about an inch of water for 10 minutes. Once the consistency was thick enough I beat in (1) stick of butter and let the mixture sit in the fridge to thicken.
The delicious recipe I used as reference suggested using zest in my lemon cupcakes, but I opted to only use juice so as not to “overlemonify” (it’s a thing) my cupcakes. The juice gave it a nice tang, and the texture was buttery and smooth. Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I hollowed them out and scooped in some lemon curd. A fluffy buttercream frosting and lemon zest garnish finished things off.
(I am noticing that with stuffed cupcakes, the frosting doesn’t want to coil nicely in my frosting piper but instead mix slightly with the cupcake filling. Goal is to conquer this impediment, but so far it hasn’t affected the taste 🙂 )
I mixed it up from my regular joint for Champagne and visited Shaker and Vine in SE Portland this week. I’ve been impressed by their sommeliers before, but I was pleasantly surprised this week by a new Rosé Brut and a live folk band in the back lounge. I restrained from knocking back a few glasses in their comfortable lounge, but highly encourage all to go to check out their live music– super cool space. The De Chanceny I’d been searching for is a 100% Cabernet Franc. Dry with good acidity, flavors of strawberry and raspberry. A perfect match to the citrus in the cupcakes.
Great treat for a summery night. Hope everyone is enjoying the sun and has a wonderful week!