Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes for Mark

Today is Mark’s birthday. He is such an amazing husband and truly a wonderful man – I try to celebrate him every day, but today I thought I’d share a recipe in honor of his birthday. In reality, I’ll try to spread out the celebration throughout the whole month! Here’s just one way we’re celebrating…  Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. Mark isn’t usually a huge fan of cake, cupcakes, cookies – and certainly nothing chocolate. He does, however, enjoy lemon meringue pie (probably one of his favorites). I’ve tried making pie before, but I haven’t quite mastered it. Cupcakes that remind you of lemon meringue pie… perfect! Happy Birthday Mark!
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
For the cupcakes…

1 box vanilla cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup mayo
1 cup water
zest of 3 lemons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 jar lemon curd
For the frosting…1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 egg whites, at room temperature

My simple cupcake recipe will give you light, fluffy, moist cupcakes. I also tried the recipe on for the cupcakes. Martha’s recipe is also good, but results in a nice heavy, dense cupcake. You can adapt to the type of cupcake you prefer. Or if you have a favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, just add the lemon zest and juice to give it the lemon flavor.
Make the cupcakes…
In a large bowl, combine all cupcake ingredients (except for the lemon curd) using an electric mixer. Mix until just combined. Divide batter among lined cups of a cupcake or muffin pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool.
You could make your own lemon curd, but I've found this lemon curd in my local market. It tastes delicious and is much less time consuming. There is a lemon curd recipe on if you either don't want to buy it or can't find it in your neighborhood.
If you have a filling tip and pastry bag (such as Wilton #230), fill the bag with the lemon curd, poke the tip into each cupcake and squeeze to insert about a teaspoon of the lemon curd into each cupcake. If you don’t have a pastry bag and tip, you can cut a small piece out of the top of each cupcake using a small paring knife. Spoon about a teaspoon of lemon curd into each hole and replace the piece of cupcake you removed (you won’t be able to see it once you add the frosting).
Make the frosting…
Combine the 1 ½ cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise the speed to medium-high; whisk until the mixture is completely cool and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. You can test it by touching the bottom of the bowl to make sure it’s cool. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (or you can use  a plain tip too). Swirl frosting onto each cupcake into a peak.
Using a kitchen torch, carefully toast the frosting on each cupcake. Serve immediately.

General idea and frosting recipe from

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