Monday, March 19, 2012

Bits of Sunshine's Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

I have had the great privilege of getting to know a fellow blogger over the past few weeks. This blogger friend of mine is named Heidi and she lives in Durban, South Africa. How did we meet, you ask? Instagram is the answer. Interesting hey! I loved some of her pictures that I found on instagram, found her blog, emailed her, and now we chat on a daily basis! It has been such a great honor to meet and get to know Heidi. She has taught me so many things about blogging and baking, and I asked her to do a special guest post on my blog today, because she just makes so many great things! I am so excited to see what she baked, so I will let her take it over from here. The floor is yours Heidi!

Hi! I am Heidi and I blog over at Bits of Sunshine (http://www.bitsofsunshine.com/) where I make and bake yummy treats! Wow! What an honour to be a guest blogger on Carla’s Confections today! It ‘s even more of an honour to be blogging for a very special friend of mine, even though we have never met in person (sure makes me glad for the world wide web); Carla and I have become very close friends. When she asked me to share a post on her blog, I was excited at first, then nervous, then excited again…. I spent the day milling over what I wanted to share; it had to be fantastic, but also easy. Phew, tough one! Then, after going through all my want-to-try bookmarks (that I should actually just pin on one of my pinterest [www.pinterest.com/heidihawyes/] boards), I came across a recipe that got me all inspired to blog when I was first starting out, yet never got around to making...


There is just something so appealing to me about “dessert” cupcakes. I am pretty convinced that you can turn any old cupcake into a divine dessert with a couple of additions! Having said that, it didn’t take many adjustments to create lemon meringue cupcakes out of lemon flavoured cupcakes.

First, I made my mixture and filled some prepared cupcake holders about 1/3 way fill. Then, with the back of a teaspoon, I made little “wells” in the centre of the batter, being careful not to “dig” too deep and expose the paper of the cupcake holder (else the cupcake may stick to the holder) The recipe I used made quite a stiff batter which was good for making these little “wells”. I then plopped a teaspoon of lemon curd (I used some that I bought from the store, but if you are energetic, I am sure homemade lemon curd would take these to the next level of deliciousness ) into the “well”.

Then I covered up the “wells” of lemon curd with the remaining cupcake batter (I made sure there was no lemon curd peeping through, else I am sure it may have bubbled out!)

After baking them for the recommended baking time, I left them to cool completely. I must admit, they looked pretty darn good at this stage, and me, being totally taken by anything remotely lemon flavoured, I
could have easily gobbled them all up. But luckily for this post, I got busy making the frosting instead. Meringue frosting is soft and fluffy and is NOT as difficult as you may imagine to make. First I separated 6 eggs and put the whites in a bowl, added some sugar and a dash of vanilla essence and gave a it quick whisk in my electric mixer. Then transferred it to a make shift double boiler (pictured below) and whisked it with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture reached a temperature of about 70 degrees Celsius, or about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then I poured it back into my mixing bowl and whisked it with my electric mixer for about 10 minutes until it was very stiff and fluffy!

It was the most gorgeous frosting I have ever made, bright white and silky soft! I think I have found my absolute favourite frosting! I used my favourite frosting (icing as we call it here) nozzle, my Wilton M1, to make some meringue swirls on the cupcakes.



I decorated them with yellow sprinkles, ivory sugar pearls and little white and yellow flowers.


Not to go on about it, but that frosting is AMAZING! It holds perfect shape and tastes soft and marshmallowy!

The cupcakes were a perfect combination of tangy lemon of the lemon curd and lemon cupcake, and the sugary, sweet softness of the frosting.

I was so pleased with these and I will definitely make these again, although when I do, I will bake them slightly shy of the recommended baking time, as these were a tiny bit dry.

To make 18 Lemon Meringue Cupcakes:

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes:
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups sifted self-raising flour
4 tablespoons lemon juice
grated zest from 2 lemons
lemon curd

Prepare 18 cupcake holders and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition
Fold in the flour and then add the lemon juice and the lemon zest
Fill the cupcake holders about 1/3 of the way up and make a small well with the back of a teaspoon. Fill the well with as much lemon curd as desired and cover the well with the remaining mixture, making sure no lemon curd is peeking through.
Bake for 18 minutes.

Meringue Frosting (adapted from Cake Journal):
(http://cakejournal.com/recipes/white-meringue-frosting/)
340g/12 oz white sugar
6 large egg whites
4 tablespoons ice water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons vanilla essence

Whisk all the ingredients until just combined.
Use a double boiler or make one, using a bowl resting on a pot of simmering water, and pour the combined ingredients into the double boiler.
Continually whisk the egg mixture until the mixture reaches 70 degrees C/160 degrees F (if you don’t have a candy thermometer, just whisk until all the sugar has dissolved (took my mixture about 10 minutes, DON’T LET THE MIXTURE BOIL)
Place the mixture back into the electric mixture bowl and whisk on full speed until it becomes very fluffy and stiff.
Put it into a piping bag and pipe meringue swirls on top of the cupcakes.
 
Thank you Heidi so much for the post, and the amazingly good looking cupcakes! I put the recipe on a handy Printable Recipe for you guys.
 
Don't you just love the way she talks? I love hearing the accents of people all around the world, even through their blogging. I love it, and I dont know about you, but I am so excited to go try these. I am sad she is all the way in South Africa, and I cant try them. But I will have to make them soon. Please do me a huge favor and go check out all of Heidi's other recipes at http://www.bitsofsunshine.com/. She has some amazing recipes. You can also click on her button on the side of my blog to go straight to her. I hope you all enjoyed her post! :) Thanks again Heidi!!!



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25 comments :

  1. Such an honor to have a beautiful blogger such as Heidi to be a guest blogger. Love her recipe and love her pictures. I agree her accent is quite cute. The two of you need to make it a point to meet some day.

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  2. These look beautiful as usual! Awesome cupcakes Heidi!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Mel. Heidi does have some pretty gorgeous stuff hey!

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  3. Thanks SOOO much for hosting me Carla! <3 was awesome to share on your blog! Its been such a plasure to get to know you!
    P.S - I dont have an accent, all of u do :)

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  4. Heidi!! Those cupcakes look incredible!! Thank you so much for being a guest on my honey's blog. You've been such a blessing to us :). Thank you for everything you've done for my Carla!

    Ps I love the new header!!

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  5. These look awesome!!! My son loves anything LEMON...just might have to try these. Only problem though is I doubt I can find vanilla essence in our small town. Guess I will just use vanilla flavoring. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Cheri for stopping by. I know, lemon is just amazing. You can certainly use vanilla extract or vanilla flavoring. They will be great I am sure. Good luck with the search and making them. Thanks again :)

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  6. Love these cupcakes and LOVE the meringue frosting!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Ambika! Arent they gorgeous? I hope you get to make them soon (and me too!)

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  7. Gorgeous cup cakes! They really do feel like sunshine on this rainy day :D

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  8. wow-wee these are lovely :) so glad I'm close enough to get a taste...hehe.....I must just add...Heidi is an awsome baker, she iced my wedding cake, and cupcakes for me and they were so so beautiful!! eek so so stoked!

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  9. Wow, these look delicious! I wish Heidi was closer! Shes so talented! So proud of her!!!

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  10. Heidi, So so proud of you, your amazing baking and artistic talent make for an unbelievable product! You should have tasted (and seen) the double chocolate oreil cake Heidi made for my birthday! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I know I saw that recipe Mary! That looked so good! You are lucky to be so close to her :) Hope your birthday was good, and make sure to enjoy more of her stuff for me since I cant :)

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  11. These are really gorgeous. Could I make a half batch of the icing/frosting? It is just what I have been looking for, but I do not need icing for 18. I am always looking for smaller amounts. Your thoughts please.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by (again) Madonna! Glad you are thinking of making these! I asked Heidi and she said you can certainly just cut the recipe in half. I dont blame you. I like making them in small batches too, so then you can make other kinds too :) I hope to be trying these soon too!

      Icing for 9 cupcakes:
      -6oz white sugar
      -3 large egg whites
      -2Tbsp ice water
      -1tsp lemon juice
      -2tsp vanilla essence(you can also use vanilla flavoring or extract)

      I would just watch the mixture carefully, because it might heat up quicker. Hope this all helps. Good luck! Let us know if you have any more questions :)

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  12. Wow those look amazingly delicious! The frosting looks so white and fresh, can just imagine how yummy these are as all the things you make are always yummy.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Haley for stopping by and thank you for your sweet words! Hope you enjoy them! :)

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  13. I'm wondering if these would hold up if I make them the night before I need them. Do you think the frosting would hold or fall? I'll also be traveling a few hours with them. Do you think they'd be ok?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Emily! Thanks for stopping by! These cupcakes with certainly last a few days, so you can definitely make them the day before. I do that with a lot of my recipes. The frosting is a firm frosting, but make sure they do not bump together, because the frosting wont go hard, and they will probably get ruined if they bump during transportation. If you have a cupcake carrier, this issue will be eliminated, or you can try the method here:
      http://annies-eats.com/2012/01/12/cupcake-basics-cupcake-transportation/

      Other than that, I think they will be really great! I hope you enjoy the cupcakes and good luck with making them and traveling with them! Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you enjoy them :)

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  14. I tried making these the other day and they were wonderful, and especially, the meringue frosting was to die for! Thanks so much for the inspiration (:

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    1. I am so glad you liked these so much! That makes me very happy to hear :)

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  15. Cupcakes are delightful little treats and are always popular, especially among children. They're basically muffin cake, or cake with a pre-determined serving size.

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  16. Hi,this recipe looks great. I want to try making these to travel with on a trip with my friend. The thing is, I live in Jamaica and it's very hot here. Can the meringue hold up in a hot climate without refrigeration and how long can they last. Can i color it also? Please let me know

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    Replies
    1. I replied to this on Facebook if you are curious: https://www.facebook.com/CarlasConfections?ref=hl

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