Like a good cupcake fan, I DVR'd the Martha Stewart show during cupcake week at the beginning of April. One cupcake in particular caught my eye: the Meyer Lemon Raspberry cupcakes from Vanilla Bakeshop. I love the combination of lemon and raspberry, so I knew I would have to give these puppies a try.
The cakes were vanilla, not as moist or sweet as Billy's recipe, but pretty good. But the best part of the recipe, in my opinion, is the lemon curd filling. This stuff was DELICIOUS. And I almost didn't make it, because 1) I didn't have any Meyer Lemons and 2) I didn't have much time. I went out and found a jar of lemon curd at the grocery store, but it looked kind of gross, so I just threw up my hands and gave in to making the (non-Meyer) lemon curd.
As for the raspberries, it turns out that they weren't really part of the cupcake at all! There is just one raspberry sitting on top. Looks pretty, but certainly wouldn't do for my voracious raspberry appetite ;) So I sought out a raspberry cream cheese icing recipe to replace the vanilla bean. It ended up being just OK. The extra moisture in the preserves just pushed it over the too-wet point in my kitchen. I added some extra cream cheese, which helped a bit, but it was already super-sweet so I didn't add any more sugar. I think next time I will try Tartelette's cream cheese buttercream recipe with some added jam, since the meringue buttercreams seem to work better for me.
adapted from Vanilla Bakeshop via Martha Stewart
3 recipe components:
Yields 24 cupcakes (I got 28). Their measurements are ridiculous, so I've just put grams for some of the items.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups (400 g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
5 large eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (!) (270 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup plus scant 1/3 cup (!!) (165 g) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; beat to combine. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture; mix until well combined. Add sour cream; mix until well combined.
In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter.
Fill each muffin cup half full with batter (I used a #16 disher and had enough for 4 extra). Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely.
This was originally written using Meyer lemons, but I used regular lemons and thought it was delicious. If you want this to be sweeter, try substituting a little orange juice for part of the lemon juice. Also, I had a ton left over (which I secretly ate by the spoonful afterwards).
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup lemon juice
5 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
Prepare an ice-water bath. Set a medium bowl in the ice-water bath and set aside.
Place the sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist (the original recipe suggested using a mortar and pestle here, if you have it). Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium heatproof bowl along with the eggs and egg yolks; whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add in the butter and whisk until well combined.
Strain lemon mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over prepared bowl (I used a strainer covered in cheesecloth). Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto surface of the lemon curd. Transfer to the refrigerator until completely chilled. It should keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
As I said earlier, it was quite runny. Next time I would probably add some meringue powder to stabilize it, or use cream cheese buttercream as a base.
12 oz. (340 g) cream cheese
150 g raspberry preserves, melted
1/2 stick butter
600 g powdered sugar
red food coloring (optional)
Beat preserves, butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in the food coloring and mix until the color is even.
There are several ways to go about filling the cupcakes with the lemon curd. I had just bought a Wilton "cupcake filling" tip, so obviously I used that, which was pretty fun once I got the hang of it. There is also chockylit's cone method, and the method used by Vanilla Bakeshop in this recipe, which calls for using an apple corer to take a chunk out of the cake and filling it in with a squeeze bottle filled with lemon curd. Whatever works!
Once the cakes are full of curd, go crazy with the icing. I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe it on, but it didn't actually matter since it all turned to goo anyway. Stupid building-controlled heat.
--end of recipe--
Overall, the taste was great, even if the icing didn't look all that pretty. I recommend making the lemon curd the day before, because this took me all day to finish. But in the end, I think it was worth it! ;)