Lemon curd cupcakes

April 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Posted in baking | Leave a comment
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I am delighted to receive baking related presents: I rarely have to buy cupcake cases and I have a glorious selection that means there is something appropriate for any occasion. On a more mundane level my kitchen is kitted out with equipment that friends and family have bought, from the Kenwood Chef that marked my 30th birthday to an array of Sophie Conran serving items. So it is a real joy when these gifts all get put to good use to share some love with others.

Sunday afternoon tea is a total treat and the pleasure is magnified if someone else is hosting the party.  I was overjoyed to be invited to tea by Lynda, especially as she asked for volunteers to share the baking burden. A  tea party is a great excuse to make cupcakes creating the opportunity to use the piping bag stand that Ailsa had found in Lakeland for my birthday present and in transporting them to the venue I used the utterly essential cupcake carrier (also a gift!)

Iced and ready to go

Iced and ready to go

As the day was verging on the beginning of spring, I wanted to make something that was light and hinted at the promise of sunshine to come, which made me think of lemon cupcakes. I had experimented before with lemon curd buttercream and thought it delicious, but had not written down the recipe. So I thought I would try again, and would record the recipe for posterity if it was any good!

Making it

The cupcakes were the Hummingbird Bakery standard recipe using the zest of a lemon to make it lemony. Using the chosen cupcake cases (these were a gift too) I got 18 out of the batter made with 2 eggs.

The buttercream was basically improvised using some hints from a couple of different recipes on-line, but I wrote it down as I went along…. so here it is:

400g icing sugar

200g butter

4 tablespoons lemon curd (a standard jar from the supermarket is around 8 tablespoons)

juice of lemon (the one used for the zest in the cake)

This was all beaten in the Kenwood chef for about 10 minutes so that it became incredibly light and fluffy.

I used the piping bag stand to make it much easier to fill the piping bag and iced big (imperfect and uneven) swirls onto the cakes. I decorated them with some sweet little flags that matched the cupcake cases (they had come in a set)

Eating it

I love lemon curd. I love buttercream. The combination of the two is utterly amazing. I will admit that the icing is seriously sweet, which is why I put lemon juice in the icing to provide a slightly sharp note to cut through the extreme sweetness.

Next time

Hopefully I will resist eating leftover icing and not be so full of icing that I have no space for all other delicious cakes my friends had baked.

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Recipe 35: Lemon-y turkey pasta

December 27, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Posted in savoury | Leave a comment
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This is not the 35th recipe that I’ve cooked – but as I’ve not yet totalled up what I cooked in the blogging pause, this shall be number 35!

As previously mentioned, I cooked Christmas lunch, which means I have lots of left-over turkey – although I did send home one family with a box of turkey so that they didn’t miss out on the Christmas essential of turkey sandwiches! (By the way-  my favourite turkey sandwich is turkey and beetroot, and possibly some rocket leaves)

But I can’t just eat turkey sandwiches to deal with the remnants of Christmas Day, so I’ve a number of recipes that can be adapted to use up turkey. My absolute favourite is probably turkey and leek risotto – and if you add some red onion in the base, it looks quite festively red and green! But this evening it was just me for dinner – so time to adapt one of my favourite warm pasta salads!

Making it: cook pasta and when it’s cooked add a dressing of lemon juice and garlic olive oil and a scrunch of pepper – stir lots so that the warm pasta absorbs some of those flavours… then add shredded turkey and roughly chopped salad leaves (watercress, rocket and spinach is my preference) and some peas.

Eating it: YUM! The lemon and garlic combined with fresh salad leaves were a very welcome change to lots of delicious but rich food. The turkey fitted in well to the dish and didn’t feel like sad left-overs!

Next time: Inspired by Nigel Slater’s ideas for using up turkey where he added heat to lots of his dishes – I might experiment with a little pinch of dried chilli flakes the next time I make this (whether using up more turkey or with left-over Sunday lunch chicken)

Recipe 7: Lemon creams

February 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Posted in baking, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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While I enjoy cooking main courses, my real love is dessert. I think that  a good pudding is the pinnacle of a good meal! I probably spend far too long on working out what would be the ultimate pudding for any given meal. The dinner party for friends options were shaped by one of the guests not eating chocolate… which is an opportunity to start thinking about all the lovely lemon-y puddings that are out there too! And as I thought – I remembered that in How to Eat, there is something which Nigella says is basically tarte au citron without the pasty – which to me sounded perfect (I’m scared of pastry…. perhaps later in the year I will start tackling that fear)

Making it: Another make ahead recipe. Nigella says that the flavours are more intense if the mixture has time to steep before cooking. So I assembled the mixture on Wednesday for the Friday night. Assembly was easy – cream, eggs, sugar and the juice and zest of lemons and mix. Then ignored in the fridge for 2 days.

Part 2 was no more difficult – I then had to distribute the mixture between some ramekins (Nigella said it served 8, but my ramekins were slightly bigger so it did 7 – not a problem as there were only 6 of us for dinner). Then the filled ramekins went in a roasting tin half filled with boiling water (a bain marie for those in the know!). It all went in the oven for about 30 minutes until they looked set. It was difficult to work out whether they were ok… I just went on trust that they had had enough time and didn’t look raw!

Yummy pots of lemon loveliness

Eating them: they were utterly delicious! I served them with shortbread (I use Jamie Oliver’s recipe). The sign of a good pudding is that the table goes silent as people dig in – and we were definitely quiet while we ate! The texture was soft and the taste tangy! 2 days later I ate the sole leftover – and that was still yummy!

Next time: As it was rich – I think I would share the mixture out between 8 ramekins. But there most definitely will be a next time!

So the evaluation of  the dinner party menu – 2 hits and a miss… I think that is a good score

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