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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Lemon and Raspberry Cupcakes

Lemon & Raspberry Cupcakes
 I have had several goes at getting the icing right for these little cakes.  They are lovely for afternoon tea and the fresh raspberry buttercream is great, but the double icing can be tricky.  You can buy a duo nozzle, but I have used 3 disposable piping bags, I have written the method in the recipe .  The trick is to make sure when piping to apply even pressure to both icing, otherwise it comes out uneven.
I have just sprinkled the tops with some freeze dried strawberry pieces that you can buy in all supermarkets if you want to achieve the same effect.
You can see how the icing comes out slightly different each time!!

Makes 12
125g / 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened
175g / 6 oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
175g / 6oz self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
2 -3 tbsp soured cream, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
6 tsp lemon curd
Lemon & Raspberry Buttercream
150g / 6 oz raspberries
25g / 1oz caster sugar
½ tbsp. lemon juice
300g / 10 oz icing sugar
150g 6oz unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp lemon curd

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cake cases. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Sift in the flour and salt. Add the soured cream and lemon zest, and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the mixture between the cake cases. Add half a teaspoon of lemon curd to each and gently swirl with the teaspoon. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for about 20 minutes until the cakes are golden and well-risen. Rest in the tin for 3-4 minutes then ease out onto on a wire cooling rack and leave until completely cold.

Prepare the raspberry purée first. Place the raspberries in a medium saucepan, add the  caster sugar and the lemon juice, and set over a low heat. Cook gently until reduced to a purée.  Pass through a fine sieve placed over a bowl to remove the pips. Clean the saucepan, pour the purée back in and continue to cook over a low heat until the purée is the consistency of slightly runny jam. Remove from the heat and leave until cold.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until creamy, then beat in the icing sugar until light and fluffy.  Divide the buttercream between two bowls. Stir the raspberry purée into one and the lemon curd into the other. Spoon into 2 piping bags and snip the ends off each filled bag, then place a star nozzle inside the remaining empty bag and cut off the end so the nozzle fits snugly.

Put the bags of coloured icing inside the empty bag.  Make sure the ends of all the coloured icing bags slot inside the star nozzle, then you can decorate the lemon cupcakes.

To get ahead: The cupcakes will keep for 2 days in an airtight tin

To freeze: The uniced cupcakes will keep for up to 1 month.

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