Sunday, March 11, 2012

Luscious Lemon Drop Cupcakes

It was another 60+ degree day in the middle of March.  And, while it feels like Spring, actually messing around in my garden in any serious way would be foolhardy.  So lemon cupcakes will do for the moment, right?

I've got two versions for you.  The first is my version of Lemonhead candies in cupcake form.  The second is a GF, Dairy-free lemon pie cupcake.  Both use the same basic cupcakes, a riff on last week's cupcake recipe - sans kale.

Light Lemon Cupcakes

3 c. Fancy Flour Blend OR
1/2 c. millet flour
1/2 c. sweet rice flour
1 1/4  c. white rice flour
3/4 c. +2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
3/4 c. lemon/lime flavored carbonated water
1 tsp vanilla

Get all your ingredients together.  Two to three medium lemons should provide enough juice and zest.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
Sift together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.  (by the way, Mom got me these PourFect bowls for Christmas.  I love them.  Love, love, love.  They're spectacular for adding ingredients into the stand mixer while it's running, and for combining my dry ingredients to pour into another mixture later.)

Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and lemony.

Add the lemon zest, vanilla, and oil.  Beat till combined.  Add the dry ingredients alternately with the lemon juice and carbonated water, beating until smooth.

Portion into the cupcake liners with a 2 oz disher, and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely.

Variation #1

Lemonhead Cupcakes

Filling:

6 oz. chopped white chocolate
6 oz. lemon curd
4 Tbsp cream

Now, you can find many recipes hither and yon for lemon curd.  Any will work.  Or you can buy it.  Place your lemon curd and white chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler.  Heat and stir until smooth.  Whisk in cream.  Remove from heat and chill until cold.  Whip with a handmixer until light and fluffy.  Place in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  You can then insert the tip into the top of the cupcake and squeeze gently until it puffs up.

Frosting:

2 egg whites
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

In a stainless steel bowl, beat together the egg whites, water, sugar, and corn syrup for about 1 minute.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, add cream of tartar, and continue beating until frosting is fluffy and will hold peaks.  This takes about 7 minutes.  Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe onto each cupcake.

Glaze:

1/3 c. lemon juice
2 c. powdered sugar
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
drop yellow food color

Place sugar and salt in a bowl.  Stir in vanilla, then begin adding lemon juice a little at a time until you reach a very thin consistency.  Stir in food color, if desired.  Dip each frosted cupcake into glaze, allow excess to run off, and set aside to dry.

These are fabulous cupcakes, with a tart, lemony exterior and a sweet interior.  Too much fun.

Variation #2:

Dairy-free Lemon Pie Cupcakes

Filling:

1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2/3 c. sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 c. water
2 egg yolks

Beat egg yolks with a fork, then whisk in 1/3 c. sugar.  In a small saucepan, combine remaining sugar and cornstarch.  Add egg mixture and whisk thoroughly - mixture will be somewhat dry.  Stir in lemon juice, zest, and water.  Cook and stir until thickened and just boiling.  Pour into a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap - press wrap onto surface of filling, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  With a sharp knife, cut a cone-shaped piece out of the top of each cupcake.  Fill with a small amount of lemon filling, replace just the very top of the cone piece that was removed.

Frost with the same frosting above, in the same manner.  Then, toast with a torch, if desired.  WARNING:  Be very careful doing so, and REMOVE THE PAPERS.  Unless, of course, you want to set them on fire.  Ask me how I know this.

Both versions are fabulous, lemony morsels.  Happy Almost-Spring!!


1 comment:

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