Saturday, September 18, 2010

Triple Lemon Cuppy's:

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350F. 24 liners

Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mix in vanilla.

Combine buttermilk, heavy cream and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to your batter, beginning and ending with the flour.

Fill each well approximately 2/3 full. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then gently transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Lemon Curd:

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside.

In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon juice, zest, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks to break them up. Beat some of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and just begins to become jelly-like, about 5 minutes.

Remove the curd from the heat and press the curd through the strainer. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd (this prevents a "skin" from forming) and let it cool completely before using.

Lemon Buttercream:

1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.

Mix in the lemon zest (if using). On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.

Fill and frost.