The musical Book of Mormon has received a lot of buzz this past year. Well I finally saw it. And it was HILARIOUS! You laugh from curtain to curtain. The dance moves are just as funny as the words and lyrics. If you get a chance to see it, you definitely should. The creators of South Park are behind Book of Mormon, so it’s a little different than the other musicals out there. But so. funny.
This week’s flavor is Lemon Meringue. My sister loves anything lemon, so she was heartbroken that she didn’t get to taste these. She was the only one upset because everyone loved these. I wish I had made extra because I wanted one Sunday morning. Yes, for breakfast. They are light, fluffy, and citrusy (citrusy definitely isn’t a word). The actual cake is good, but what REALLY makes these are the lemon curd filling. So don’t leave it out!
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (12 cupcakes)
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350* and line the cupcake tin. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one a time, mixing after each one. Add the zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide batter among cups and bake for 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
Lemon Curd Filling
Zest of 2 lemon
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 eggs + 1 egg yolk
In a medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
Fill your cupcakes and then frost with cream cheese frosting!
I think strawberry kiwi was one of my favorite candy flavors when I was little. I always went for the tropical Skittles and Starburst. I make strawberry cupcakes all the time, but I had never ventured over to the strawberry kiwi variety. To be perfectly honest, that was even the original intention of this baking experiment. I had set out for rhubarb and couldn’t find any. After wandering the produce section at the store for about 5 minutes, I saw the kiwis and had a new idea. Strawberries and kiwis.
First I made strawberry cupcakes. Then I made a kiwi “curd”- I’m not sure if you can call it that, but that’s more or less what it’s like. I had no game plan when I started making it…just some prayers that it would turn out delicious. Luckily for me it did work and I was saved a trip to the store for more kiwis. I finished the cupcake off with strawberry cream cheese frosting, though regular cream cheese frosting would also be a good choice.
STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES (~24 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Puree the strawberries (I use a magic bullet). In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and 2/3 cup strawberry puree. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until well combined. Slowly add eggs and egg whites until just blended. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and strawberry mixture (starting and ending with the flour). Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.
KIWI CURD FILLING
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks
Scoop the flesh out of the kiwis. Mix the kiwis, sugar, and lemon juice together in a sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl. When the kiwi mixture reaches a boil, pour it into the egg yolks. Stir the mixture and yolks together and then pour it back into the saucepan. Allow mixture to simmer for about 8 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough to cover the spoon (it will thicken a little as it cools also). Remove mixture from heat and let cool.
While the cupcakes and filling are cooling, make your frosting. I made cream cheese frosting and then used some of the extra strawberry puree. Be careful if you add puree though, it doesn’t take a lot and it will thin out the frosting considerably. Be prepared to add more powdered sugar if you need to thicken it.
This first week of the New Year was my last week of break. Somehow I managed to avoid any major commitments and actually had time to relax. I rang in the new year with great friends in sweat pants. I went wedding dress shopping with one of my best friends where I tried to channel the snarky opinionated friend every one sees on “Say Yes to the Dress”. And I competed in a partner crossfit competition. Oh, and I’ve also watched almost the complete two seasons of Game of Thrones. This is probably the most productive thing I’ve done.
After the competition we went to go out eat and watch the Texans game. ZZ Top was eating in a booth not too far from us. I mean, I’m pretty convinced it was him. I didn’t go up to him and say “Hey Billy, how’s it goin”, but I’m going to stand by my statement.
Today I have some fun cupcakes for you- Cat in the Hat cupcakes! This happened to be the theme for little Lucy’s first birthday party and her mom found pictures on pinterest of the cupcakes she wanted. Thank goodness for pinterest, makes my life easier.
To make the hats I used mini marshmallows and red candy melts. I was already using gumpaste for another project, so I cut out white circles to make the base of the hat while I had it out. I dipped a marshmallow into the the melted red candy, then placed it on the base. I did this three times (three marshmallows) because the Cat in the Hat has a tall hat. The candy melt acts like glue and holds it altogether. I did wait for each marshmallow to dry before adding another on top of it. Also, be careful in the marshmallows you pick out. They are not all created equally. Pick the ones that are cut flat on the top and bottom so that they stack easier, and pay attention to the diameter of each as some are skinnier than others.
They wanted red velvet cupcakes- which worked perfect because the theme was red and blue. I made blue frosting, topped it with red sprinkles, and then placed the hats on top!
Don’t worry moms…the letters spelling out her name were removed before she tried to eat it. I know, I know. Keep pointy things away from kids. Even tooth picks.
Dr. Seuss is a super cute theme for a little kid’s birthday party. And classic. I might have to steal that idea one day.
People often ask me what my most popular flavors are. Red velvet is hands down one of my most requested flavors. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy red velvet as much as the next person, but it surprises me how many people say it’s their favorite. It’s not vanilla, but there’s not enough cocoa in it to consider it chocolate. It’s red because of flavorless colored gel. Back in the day, red velvet got it’s name from a chemical reaction between the buttermilk and vinegar which brought out the red from the cocoa. During World War II, cooks used beets (due to rations) to enhance the color. Hello history lesson. But regardless, people keep coming back for the red velvet.
At some point I had the notion to add a chocolate ganache filling to my red velvet cupcakes. People freaked out. I mean really freaked out. Like they would take a bite and then tell me they would need a moment with the cupcake. I’ve heard a lot of inappropriate responses too, which just makes me laugh. It’s funny what people will say when eating a cupcake. But where I was going with this is that I can’t make a plain red velvet anymore. People have heard about “this cupcake” and they want the “magical center”, that “bite of heaven”. People have actually used those words when ordering cupcakes.
My friend requested red velvet cupcakes for her birthday. We happen to have a lot of jars on hand for homemade habanero jelly, so I decided to try the whole cupcake in a jar thing. (Note: there were no habaneros near the cupcakes!) Honestly, I think that’s an awesome gift. I went to a wedding where the favor was a cupcake in a jar, and I may or may not have ate the whole thing on the way home. So I decided to make one for the birthday girl. I cut a cupcake in half, then put in one layer, layered some chocolate ganache and cream cheese frosting on next, and then repeated. Two halves didn’t quite fill the jar, so I used another half to finish it off.
I guarantee you NO ONE would complain if you gave them a cupcake in a jar. Especially if it’s red velvet. But let’s be honest…people are generally happy with whatever flavor you give them.