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Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Yesterday, I made Lemon Curd Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and they came out delicious. I actually adapted my Dark Chocolate Cake recipe to make the batter, and the result exceeded my expectations. Here's the recipe.

CUPCAKE BATTER
Yields 12 Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of electric mixer. Add the remaning ingredients to the bowl. With paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer). The batter will be liquidy. Pour into paper cups or muffin pan (halfway).
Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.



LEMON CURD

1/2 cup lemon juice
1 stick of butter (110 g.)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add suger, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thicky and glossy. Pour into a shallow tray to cool.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) of unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine egg whites and salt in a large bowl.

Stir together brown sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, washing down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. When sugar syrup reaches boil, start beating whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until frothy, then add lemon juice and beat at medium speed until whites just hold soft peaks (do not beat again until sugar syrup is ready).
Meanwhile, put candy thermometer into sugar syrup and continue boiling until syrup reaches 238-242°F. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a heatproof 1-cup glass measure. Slowly pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Beat meringue, scraping down bowl with a rubber spatula, until meringue is cool to the touch, about 6 minutes. (It's important that meringue is properly cooled before proceeding).
With mixer at medium speed, gradually add butter 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated (if meringue is too warm and buttercream looks soupy after some of the butter is added, briefly chill bottom of bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water for a few seconds before continuing to beat in remaining butter). Continue beating until buttercream is smooth (mixture may look curdled before all of butter is added, but will come back together before beating is finished). Add vanilla and beat 1 minute more.


ASSEMBLING

Dig a hole in the center of each completely cooled cupcake (I inserted a sharp knife at an angle and cut in a circular motion, then scoop the bread out and saved the top to replace after filling). Fill hole with lemon curd (using a pastry bag) and recap. Finish top with vanilla buttercream frosting (spread or use pastry bag with decorating tip of your choice). Et voilĂ  !

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