Monday, March 15, 2010

MSC: Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Hello Sweet Readers!

Thanks for coming by today. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. It started warming up around here and I'm so happy to see the weather report for this week. It says 76 degrees by Wednesday! And I love the longer days and more sunshine. Seems like a perfect time to make these beauties, doesn't it?

For this month's choice, Megan from My Baking Adventures chose Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. I loved the idea and the photo looked so pretty in the book. Little did I know what I would be in for this time around.

Now, I have made lemon curd before without a hitch. Tasted great, came together fine and all was well. Not the case this time. I started with making the lemon curd and stirred FOREVER and it never got thick. I followed the instructions and finally gave up, added the butter, and thought I'd wait for it to thicken. But I just knew it wouldn't, so I put the bowl back on the stove and stirred again. Forever. I have things to do other than to stir curd, my friends. I am not typically a person content to do one thing at a time, much less stand at a stove for an hour. I did catch up on a couple phone calls, and that helped, but it never thickened. It tasted divine, but now it's a sauce.
So I decided to bake the cupcakes. Fortunately, they came out perfectly. I don't like huge domes, and with this recipe, a dome would have made the curd (the dang curd) slide right off. So I got about 31 cuppies out of this recipe instead of 24.

Then I went back the next day and tried the curd again. I have no idea which curd I made before with success, so I decided to try a new one. Big mistake. I chose the one from "Cakelove". It said it was "easy" and would only have to be stirred for 10 minutes...7 or 8 in altitude. Perfect.

Not so much. I stirred again for, oh, about 50 minutes. Going nuts, mind you. No "lava bubbles" to be seen. ARGH! It was thicker than the other, but lava was elusive to me. So I called it quits at the thickness and stuck it in the fridge to hope it out.
In the meantime, I made the frosting. The seven minute frosting that all together, really, honestly, with measuring and boiling and all, takes about a half hour. Just so you know. It came out perfectly.

And the curd ended up coming out very good. It was not very tart, though, because I used Meyer lemons this time around. The Martha recipe tasted better (I used Eureka lemons), this one looked better. This one also had about 5 times the butter in it. Go figure.

So here is the finished product. They look lovely, don't they? I love the silky shiny frosting and it was fun to get out my torch. Especially after all my angst with the curd. LOL. They tasted very good all in all, though the cupcake was a tiny bit crumbly, which is not my favorite texture. It was very moist, but just a bit crumbly.

Another "interesting" thing to note is that you have to be careful traveling with these. I put them in my trusted Cupcake Courier to transport to a church meeting and they stayed fine. Except for the meringue, which didn't like the curves and turns combined with the slipperyness of the curd. Some slid halfway off. Nice.
I hope you were able to enjoy the story of the curd that finally was. And I'm glad you didn't have to go through it. I was told by a friend at the meeting that the Barefoot Contessa has a fabulous lemon curd recipe. I like her. I will have to try hers if I go there again. And I will. I'm a glutton for punishment and my husband loves lemon.

If you get a chance, check out the other entries for the club. I can't wait to hear how everyone did!


Sarah-Lyn said...

Mmmmm do they ever look good!
Great job!


marthaandme said...

I like Barefoot Contessa a lot too. Your cupcakes look absolutely stunning!

Candice said...

they look divine! and please do let me know what you think of the B.C. curd recipe. ((i can jsut watch her for hours on telly...she's so dang chill with beautiful results each time))

Kim said...

Your cupcakes look perfect. I figured that the 7 minute frosting wasn't really 7 minutes. Is anything ever? Sorry about the curd mishaps. They look so very pretty though.

Clivia said...

What a trooper to make the lemon curd twice! Your cupcake photos are gorgeous!

Nina said...

YUM! they look amazing. Ouch on all the curd mishap, but at least it all turned out eventually!

Mindy said...

I love lemons and these (or the Martha Stewart ones) sounds delicious! As always - you did a beautiful job.

Rebecca said...

Yours are so pretty. I have to start breaking out my pastry bag for making frosting.

Jennifer said...

Your photos are beautiful, and I love those cupcake liners!

I wonder what was so different about this curd that made it more difficult...I will definitely be trying to make lemon curd again, but with a different recipe next time.

Thanks for commenting on my blog and entering my giveaway, too!

Heather said...

Those look delicious. Lemon anything is a perfect spring/summer treat. My father in law makes the Barefoot Contessa lemon curd and it is delicious!!

Mimi said...

Your cupcakes look perfect. You are a determined baker to keep at the curd. I would have added a cornstarch slurry to the curd to thicken it up and called it a day.

Tracey said...

Ooops, I wasn't finished with my comment and accidentally hit "enter" :) I was going to say that your cupcakes look wonderful and I agree, they were perfect for the warmer spring weather!

Tracey said...

Sorry the lemon curd gave you trouble - it really was the most delicious part of the recipe for me. I had to stir mine for a while too but it did eventually thicken. I think there's a recipe for lemon curd that can be made in the microwave floating around the internet somewhere - maybe you'd have better luck with that?

Judy said...

wow- your toasted meringue swirls look amazing! it makes me wish i had taken the time to brown mine! =)

your photos are SO beautiful!

Jess said...

Gorgeous cupcakes - a nice reward after all that hard work. You're lucky that your husband loves lemon - mine can't stand it!


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