Monday, February 28, 2011

Lime curd Cupcakes

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Well, since I'm on a roll, I thought I would post another recipe I used a couple of months ago. This is a family favorite & I have always had good results using this recipe. It is inspired by a recipe I saw on this blog.

Cupcakes w/ lime curd filling & Swiss meringue buttercream frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes

The cupcakes are a modified version of the famous Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla cupcakes. I have made a few changes that I believe make a moister cupcake. It is a very versatile cupcake.

Ingredients
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups self-rising flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1.75 cups sugar
4 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line your cupcake tray with paper or foil liners.
2. Combine flours in a small bowl & set aside. Combine the yoghurt & vanilla in another bowl.
3. Beat the butter & sugar together until creamy & light.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well until each egg is fully incorporated into the mixture.
5. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the yoghurt mixture. (Make sure you start and finish with the flour mixture)
6. Spoon the batter into the liners, filling them about 3/4 full.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
8. Leave in the tin to cool for about 10 minutes & then remove & leave until completely cool on a rack.

Lime Curd
I love this recipe. It never fails me. And there's always plenty leftover for me to eat with toast.

Ingredients
1.25 cups sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
0.25 - 0.75 cups lime juice (depending on how tart you want the curd to be)
3 tsp lime zest

Method
1. Combine lime juice, zest & sugar in a saucepan &  boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
2. Add butter and stir until the butter has dissolved completely.
3. Take off the stove and let the mixture come to room temperature.
4. Beat the eggs & egg yolks to the lime mixture & mix well.
5. Return to the heat. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. It should now coat the back of a spoon.
6. Strain & set aside to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until it is time to assemble the cupcakes.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
This recipe is a little technical but if you follow the rules, the result is amazing. This is also a very versatile frosting. You could substitute the vanilla with any other extract you like.

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
6 egg whites
250g / 18 tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
1. Combine the the egg whites and sugar & heat gently over a double boiler until the sugar is completely dissolved. The eggs should stay translucent & should not start to cook & turn whitish! You can check if the sugar is dissolved by rubbing the mixture between your fingers. If it smooth, then take it off the heat at once.
2. Pour into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture has cooled. Continue to beat until you have soft peaks.
3. At this stage, start adding the butter, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Don't add more than 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
4. Do not panic if the mixture looks awful & curdles. Keep beating it at high speed. You will find that it will suddenly come together to make a creamy, light buttercream frosting.
5. Add the vanilla extract and beat till incorporated.

Assembling the cupcakes

I have assembled these cupcakes using two different methods. One option is to use the lemon curd as a filling. I was recently given a Kuhn Rikon Frosting Deco Pen which has a syringe attachment. I am able to fill the cupcake generously using the syringe attachment. Then I frost the top of the cupcake with the buttercream (covering up the hole the syringe makes) & sprinkle some lime zest over the top.

If you are unable to fill the cupcake, just spread a generous layer over the cupcake and cover that up with the buttercream. Either way, the result is delicious!
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vanilla Panna Cotta w/ Strawberry Gelee

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I have had quite a dreadful week. But, I found a way to cheer myself up. I just signed up with The Daring Kitchen! And I can't wait to get started! God is good!!! :)

For those of you who haven't heard about The Daring Kitchen, it is an awesome website where you can take monthly Baking/Cooking challenges. Tons of people from all over the world will all be making the same thing & everyone posts their results on their own blogs & a few will be chosen to display on The Daring Kitchen website. I think it is all very cool!

The Baking Challenge posts are revealed on the 27th of each month & the new challenge comes out on the 1st of the next month. So, I was very excited today (the 27th) too see what this month's challenge was that I missed. Funnily enough, it was something I cooked just last month! :) The challenge was to make Panna Cotta and also, Florentine Cookies.

Since I can't be part of the challenge this month (having just joined the group), I can't really send them my pictures. But I can post them here! I plan to get the florentines also baked soon, but for now, here is my Panna Cotta recipe! It isn't the Daring Kitchen recipe, but this one has always worked really well for me!

The Panna Cotta tastes pretty awesome on it's own. It's the only way my husband will eat it. I personally love the tang of the Strawberry gelee. So, you can decide if you want the gelee layer or not.

Or, you could just make a simple strawberry coulis to pour over the panna cottas just before serving!

Vanilla Panna Cotta w/ Strawberry Gelee

Ingredients
1 cup full fat milk
5 tsp powdered gelatin
3.5 cups double cream
1 Vanilla pod or 1 tsp Vanilla extract (not essence)
6 tbsp sugar

Method
1. Slit the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add all the seeds and the pod to the milk & set aside for at least 1/2 hour. (If you are using Vanilla extract, skip this step)
2. Warm the milk & sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for about 10 minutes.
3. Heat the mixture over a low flame until the gelatin is dissolved.
4. Add the double cream & sugar and bring to a gentle boil and take if off the heat.(Don't let the cream bubble away. It will curdle)
5. Strain & discard the vanilla pod. If you are using Vanilla extract, you can stir it in at this point.
6. Pour into moulds & let it cool. Refrigerate for at least 3hours before serving.

Strawberry Gelee

Ingredients
1 cup strawberries, washed & hulled
4 tbsp water
1.5 tsp powdered gelatin
3-4 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
1 tsp lemon juice (omit this if your strawberries are already very sour)

Method
1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside until the gelatin is soft.
2. Puree the strawberries & strain out the seeds.
3. Combine the strawberry puree with the gelatin mixture & the sugar. Heat until the gelatin is competely dissolved.
4. Pour this over the already set panna cotta & put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

I apologize for my pictures. I am not a great photographer.

I am looking forward to an awesome new month filled with lots of yummy goodness! Now, I'm off to give my little darling girl a "big hug" because Tinky Winky says I should. Later!
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