Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Promise Fulfilled: Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

lemon meringue cupcake

I look at cupcakes and I see a promise unfulfilled. My husband use to feel that way about coffee. He use to say that coffee smelled great but tasted awful. After fifteen years, I have corrupted him. He is now a coffee aficionado.

Cupcakes always look so playful and whimsical. Their frosting reaches for the sky, triggering a waterfall of desire that cannot be ignored. You imagine moist cake batter baked to perfection, decadent fillings melting on your tongue and flavors bursting sweetly in your mouth. At least that's what I imagine...but too often, you get overly sweet oiliness, with a slightly metalic aftertaste, and a dry texture that leaves nothing to be desired.

So when I heard that Foodbeam was hosting Sugar High Fridays and that the theme was cupcakes, I had to participate. I took my sweet time figuring out what kind of cupcake would be worthy of the name. In the end, I created a moist nut batter filled with tart and sweet lemon curd and crowned with a moist but crusty meringue. One bite and I was in heaven--cupcake heaven.

lemon meringue cupcake platter

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (Makes 12 Gluten Free Cupcakes)
I used a Cooking Light recipe to make my lemon curd. The cupcake batter is my own, vegan and an excellent eggless base for any cupcake.

Artsy-Foodie's Tip:
When beating egg whites, start out by wiping your bowl clean with a towel moistened with vinegar. This step ensures that an oil residue won't interfere with the fluffing of the egg whites.

12 teaspoon homemade lemon curd or store bought

Cupcake Batter:
2/3 cup vanilla soymilk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xantham gum

12 cupcake liners

3 egg whites, brought to room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon GF vanilla
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix wet cupcake batter ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
Mix the rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xantham gum together in another bowl.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.

In an oiled muffin pan, place the paper cup liners. Inside each cup place 1 rounded tablespoon of batter. Follow with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Then finish with the remaining batter, dividing it equally among all the cupcakes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until baked through and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Let cool slightly while you prepare the meringue.

In a mixer combine the three egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly incorporate the sugar while the mixer is on. Continue mixing until the sugar has melted into the egg and mixture is fluffy, glistening white. Put uncooked meringue into a piping bag. Pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes in a circular motion, finishing with a peak in the center. Bake for just 10 to 15 minutes or until the meringue is slightly golden. It's important to keep a close eye on it as meringue can burn easily. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

lemon cupcake inside


Syrie said...

Looks positively gorgeous!

Elra said...

that is look heavenly good, so moist!

VeggieGirl said...

I definitely agree with you about cupcakes - looks can be deceiving, for sure. But hey, yours look absolutely MARVELOUS and perfect!! Such little works of art!!

nicisme said...

I would be in cupcake heaven after eating one of those, they look magnificent!

rachel said...

Would you take a look at those morsels of gorgeousness! Alexa, you have answered an internal debate I've been having for a few days now; should I make a lemon meringue pie or pear walnut crumble pie for the huge meal I'm preparing. Lemon Meringue it is- I can only pray that my meringue will be as frothy and heavenly as the meringue that crowns these beauties.

Robin Sue said...

You have one lucky family who gets to eat those cupcakes. My oh my, perfect! Again you wow me with the use of the different flours, I think I would be lost! Happy Pizza Night!

Leonor de Sousa Bastos said...

Your cupcakes must be heavenly delicious!!

I love the idea of your moist nut batter... and combined with the curd and the meringue must be unique!!

Well done!!

And I'm sooo happy for your cupcake heaven...

Marysol said...

Alexa, just the title alone made me come to a screeching halt, but the images are even better especially that last one. Heaven.

CECIL said...

I will just stare at it from my sofa! And salivating :D

Andrea said...

Wow, those are beautiful! I love lemon meringue, what a creative twist on an old favorite!

Mary Ann said...

How wonderfully creative! These look delicious. I feel the same way about cupcakes, sometimes they are such a disappointment

Alexa said...

Syrie and nicisme,
Thank you!

I hope you enjoy the fancy meal you are preparing and the wonderful lemon meringue pie. :-)

Robin Sue,
It's like playing mad scientist. (lol) I love it.

Thanks for your kind comment.

I have to thank my husband for that title, it comes straight out of his vocabulary. I'm glad you liked the post.

Feel better. I hope the pictures help! :-)

Andrea and Mary Ann,
Thank you.

LyB said...

That is such a creative recipe! Those cupcakes look so delicious. And I agree with you that cupcakes do tend to disappoint. Not these, I'm sure! :)

Jude said...

Looks awesome. Love the graphic beside the tips, Alexa :)

Y said...

Ooh love that generous layer of lemon curd hiding under the meringue :)

Anonymous said...

Nice cupcake recipe. Though I feel a little mislead as I thought the entire thing, topping and all, was going to be vegan. :(

Alexa said...

My blog is not a vegan site. Some of the recipes I create are vegan. In the case of these cupcakes, the batter is vegan, the lemon curd and the meringue topping are not. For this reason I did not label it as a vegan recipe in my label index.

All the best,

Ashley's Cooking Adventures said...

Just stumbled across your blog and so happy I did. It's beautiful and a breath of fresh air! These cupcakes look divine!

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