lemon meringue cupcakes...

now a lot of people have been asking for this recipe here on the blog and also over on twitter.
i was quite worried about doing these for a charity bake sale as i have never had any luck with meringue but thankfully it all turned out brilliantly.

you will need

for the sponge:
80g of unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 table spoon baking powder
1 quarter teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of lemon zest (or if you are a bit of a lemon fiend like myself...2-3)
2 eggs
240ml of while milk

for the filling:
a jar of lemon curd

for the frosting:
4 egg whites
200g of caster sugar
150ml water

start by preheating the oven to 190ºC or gas mark 5 and line your cupcake tin with your favourite cases.

mix together the sugar and butter until no large lumps remain.

sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. its always best to sift even if a recipe you are following doesn't say to.

throw in the lemon zest and then mix until all is well combined, it will look a bit like sand but dont be tempted to make castles...this is for eating not for playing!

after i added the lemon i got a bit over excited by the smell and forgot to take any more pictures..so prepare yourself for a mountain of type!

whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug and begin to add the mix into the other ingredients, whilst beating on a slow speed.
once all of the wet is added, turn up the mixer to a medium speed and allow all the ingredients to come together until smooth.

using an ice cream scoop begin to fill the cases, i found this mix made 14 full size cupcakes and one small one. i like to call this small one the taste test!

bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, the sponge should bounce back when pressed or you can use a trusty cocktail stick to check the core.

allow these to cool for a few minutes in the tin and then place onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

once they have had time to cool completely its time to give them an extra burst of lemon loveliness. if you have a cupcake corer feel free to use this but i went for a teaspoon. simply cut out the center of the cupcakes and put them to one side (do not be tempted to eat any! you will be using them as lids shortly!).

once thats done, take a jar of your favourite lemon curd and place a spoonful into each cupcake. replace the lid and push down slightly.
dont' worry to much about putting the right top on the right cupcake as the meringue topping will cover this!

next you want place 200g of caster sugar into a saucepan and cover with the water. bring this to the boil and allow it to sit on the heat for 5-10 minutes, by which point it should reach its soft ball stage (if you take a spoonful of this and place it into cold water you should be able to pick it up and form a soft ball).

whilst the sugar and water are boiling away place the 4 egg whites in a bowl and whisk until it just begins to foam.

once at the soft ball stage turn the mixer up to medium and add the sugar to the eggs. you will find that the whites will instantly start to grow and it should increase in size. once all the sugar has been added increase the speed to high and whisk until the bottom of the bowl is lukewarm.

next for the fun part!

place the meringue on top of each cupcake, you can do this however you see fit really. for example you could try piping it onto each cake to give it a swirly effect.

i opted to spoon it on and used a palette knife to cover the entire cake and give it a peak.

if you have a blow torch, turn it on and with fluid motions go back and forth over the top of the meringue, this will give it that golden colour commonly seen on a meringue. just be very careful as this mixture will burn very quickly.

don't worry if you don't have a torch, just pop them under the grill but make sure you dont take your eyes off of them as they will burn quickly!

and there you have it! lemon meringue cupcakes!

i hope you enjoy them as much as i did!