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Cupcake Round-Up

And with the flash
Originally uploaded by panxa.
Cupcakeblog has been my first stop for many of the Movie Night cupcakes, so when I heard about the Cupcake Round-up I was very eager to participate.

I made these cupcakes for January’s Move Night (Dark City and Total Recall). They represent the happy endings where the sun is shining, the sky is bright, and the clouds are puffy.

Lemon Curd
I made the curd the night before so that it was nicely chilled by the time I was ready to fill the cupcakes. This makes just enough to fill 2 dozen cupcakes.

3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
The zest of 2-3 lemons (how ever many you used to get the juice)
¾ cup granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces

Create a double boiler with a stainless steel mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. In the mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, and sugar.
Stir constantly to prevent curdling until the mixture takes on a pudding-like consistency, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain the mixture through a sieve to remove lumps.

Add the butter pieces and whisk until the butter is completely melted and incorporated.

Stir in the lemon zest, cover well, and refrigerate.

Lammas (Cup)cakes
makes 24 cupcakes
I based these on the flavor of Lammas Cakes (which are more like cookies) from Celtic Folklore Cooking. Lammas Cakes are used to celebrate sun holidays, which seemed appropriate to the ending of both the movies. The cupcake batter is a basic genoise.

Because the batter will deflate a little between batches, you should either cook both batches at the same time or half the recipe.

6 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 3 lemons
6 tablespoons golden raisins
7 tablespoons whiskey

Preheat oven to 350 F

In a small bowl, macerate the golden raisins in the whiskey. Set aside.
Create a double boiler with a stainless steel mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. In the mixing bowl, constantly beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes warm to the touch, about 10-20 minutes. The mixture will be slightly foamy.

Remove from heat and continue to beat the mixture on high for 10-12 minutes. The batter will increase significantly, and become a soft golden color. It is important to continue beating for at least 10 minutes to get the batter to the right consistency.

Carefully fold in the flour a little at a time.

Mix the melted butter and the vanilla, and pour into the batter in a steady stream, folding gently.

Fold in the lemon zest.

Carefully pour the whiskey off the raisins into the batter in a steady stream, folding gently. Gently add the raisins a few at a time, folding in.

Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers (24 total) and scoop in the batter. Scoop from the bottom so each cupcake gets some raisins. Cups should be nearly full, since this batter does not rise much in baking. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden and spring back at the touch.

Whiskey Cream
This is my vegetarian version of stabilized whipped cream. Agar-agar power is available at Asian grocery stores and can be used instead of gelatin in most recipes, although only half as much is usually needed.

1 pint whipping cream
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon agar-agar powder, softened in a little hot water

In a stainless steel mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream and sugar together, using a rubber spatula to make sure the sugar is fully incorporated. 

Add the whiskey and vanilla in a steady stream.

When the cream has reached the soft peak stage, add the agar-agar liquid all at once and continue to beat until firm peaks form. Be careful, the agar-agar can set very quickly and beating on the highest setting is not advised.

Quick Candied Lemon Zest

Zest of 1 lemon
Equal amount sugar

On an oven-proof plate, evenly spread out the lemon zest and sugar mixture. Place in the oven which has been turned off but is still warm from baking the cupcakes.

Let sit for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar is just starting to melt. Remove from the oven, stir, spread thinly over the plate  and allow to cool.

Final Preparation

With a serrated knife, cut out the center of each cupcake in a cone shape cut off the bottom of the cone. Reserve the crust portion.

Fill the cupcake with lemon curd and replace the top.

Frost and sprinkle with the candied lemon zest.