To say that I was nervous?? before the Mad Hatters Picnic is probably a bit of an understatement. I am quite shy in my everyday life and get very nervous around new people! Yet there I was, preparing not only to go and meet a bunch of food bloggers who’s blogs I very much enjoy reading AND I was going to bake for them.
Talk about pressure! 🙂
But I must say that it was seriously great meeting so many people who love food as much as I do!
I went through about a billion ideas for what to bake, but in the end I settled on a lemon and blueberry flavour as I do love blueberry curd and take any excuse to make it!
The last time I made lemon cupcakes I wasn’t overly impressed with the lemon flavour, so this time not only did I include the zest of 3 lemons, I also infused the sugar overnight with lemon rind. This definately made the lemon taste more prominent, which is important when the blueberry taste is quite strong.
That said, I still don’t think the lemon diva cupcake recipe is the best one out there for lemons… it tends to run a bit dry. Next time I will try a different recipe. But that said, I really did enjoy the flavour combination together.
I also got really excited because my buttercream worked out extremely well this time! Last time I did a curb based buttercream it flopped big time… but this time it held the stiffness of the meringue perfectly AND had the desired flavour.
Lemon Diva Cupcake
100g unsalted butter, softened
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
200g self-raising flour
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
Zest of 3 Lemons
1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Line muffin pans with paper cases of your choice.
2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste with electric mixer until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Add flavourings of your choice, i.e. the lemon zest!
3. Spoon some mixture into paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Two 1/2-pints ripe blueberries or one 12-ounce package frozen blueberries, thawed (1 1/2 cups)
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the blueberries, egg yolks, sugar, and salt and cook, mashing the berries and stirring frequently at first and them constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve, or for up to 1 month.
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature.
In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160F on an instant read thermometer), about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
With the mixture on medium-low speed, add the salt and butter a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add the blueberry curd, beating after each addition. Continue to add flavour until you get the flavour you desire.
To fill the cupcakes, cut a small hole into them using a knife. Fill the hole with the blueberry curd, then replace with the “cupcake cap”.