It's already almost halfway through November & the typical weather for the year-end has begun to show its true colours, literally..... After a hot & humid week, the sky has been quite gloomy for the last few days. I've been under the weather too... fever, hoarse voice, spinning head.... But I'm good, still managed to be up & about doing my things. :)
And one of the things that I managed to do was to bake some cuppies... As if to brighten up the wet & cloudy days, I decided to bake some Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. Hehe, actually, I wanted to use up the remaining meyer lemons which had been in the fridge for a while. Bought a bag of them from Cold Storage as I was curious with the taste as compared to that of the regular lemons. Just like what I've read, meyer lemon does have a combined taste of lemon & mandarin orange.
Believe it or not, this is my first time making & tasting lemon curd. As expected, it still retains its tanginess even though sugar & egg yolks are added. I love the tanginess in some food like acar or Mango Pickles, but meyer lemon curd...... maybe it's an acquired taste, it's definitely not love at first taste, haha! The buttermilk cake is good; it's soft & moist with quite loose crumbs & doesn't taste too sweet. The SMBC is great too, that's for sure. Still, the whole combination just doesn't sit well for me. I think a cupcake has to be creamy, sweet &/or chocolaty. One thing for sure, these cuppies do look bright & sunny!
Meyer Lemon & Buttermilk Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used cake flour.)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 65g.)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Meyer Lemon curd (recipe below)
Swiss Meringue Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven & preheat to 350 deg F (180 deg C). Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil lines.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugar & butter together until light & fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg & vanilla & beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until lightly golden & toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 24-25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack & let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Using a paring knife, hollow out a 1 1/2-inch round piece about 1 inch deep from the center of each cupcake. Fill each hollow with a generous tablespoon of meyer lemon curd. Frost the filled cupcakes with the buttercream.
6 tbsp fresh meyer lemon juice (I used juice from 3 meyer lemons.)
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (I used 65g.)
2 tsp finely grated meyer lemon zest
Recipe is adapted from Shelly Kaldunski's Grapefruit / Lime Curd recipe.
- In a heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan, whisk together the meyer lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks & salt. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly & scraping the side of the pan, until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes Do not let the curd boil as it will turn lumpy.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until smooth. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the meyer lemon zest & cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled & set, at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.
3 large egg whites
100g granulated sugar
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla paste
pinch of salt
- Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk frequently, keeping it over the heat, until the mixture is warm & reaches about 70°C and the sugar has dissolved (rub some between your fingers - if it feels grainy, it hasn't dissolved).
- Transfer the mixture to a mixer with a whisk attached & beat on medium-high for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks have formed & the meringue is shiny & has cooled to room temperature. (You may also place the mixing bowl in a bowl of water while whisking.)
- Turn down the speed to medium and start adding small chunks of butter, checking that it has incorporated before adding more. Add in the vanilla paste. Keep beating for about 5 more minutes until the mixture comes together.
The above recipe is a slightly modified version of the Gula Melaka SMBC that I used for my Pandan Cupcakes. Do refer to Wendy's post for a detailed post on how to prepare Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Notes & modifications:
- If you don't have buttermilk, you may use milk. Just add 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar to the milk & wait it out for about 5 minutes before using it.
- At first, my lemon curd turned out very runny even after keeping it in the fridge for a day. Afraid that it will start boiling & thinking that it will thicken up after sitting in the fridge, I must have removed the curd from the fire when it was still too runny. So I had to thicken it, & I did that by adding 1 tbsp of cornflour & reheating the curd until it became thick.
- The Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) may be quite a challenge to prepare especially for the newbies, so I really recommend that you take a look at Wendy's SMBC post for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.
- The filled & frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before finishing.