Thursday, September 25, 2008
I look at cupcakes and I see a promise unfulfilled. My husband use to feel that way about coffee. He use to say that coffee smelled great but tasted awful. After fifteen years, I have corrupted him. He is now a coffee aficionado.
Cupcakes always look so playful and whimsical. Their frosting reaches for the sky, triggering a waterfall of desire that cannot be ignored. You imagine moist cake batter baked to perfection, decadent fillings melting on your tongue and flavors bursting sweetly in your mouth. At least that's what I imagine...but too often, you get overly sweet oiliness, with a slightly metalic aftertaste, and a dry texture that leaves nothing to be desired.
So when I heard that Foodbeam was hosting Sugar High Fridays and that the theme was cupcakes, I had to participate. I took my sweet time figuring out what kind of cupcake would be worthy of the name. In the end, I created a moist nut batter filled with tart and sweet lemon curd and crowned with a moist but crusty meringue. One bite and I was in heaven--cupcake heaven.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (Makes 12 Gluten Free Cupcakes)
I used a Cooking Light recipe to make my lemon curd. The cupcake batter is my own, vegan and an excellent eggless base for any cupcake.
Artsy-Foodie's Tip: When beating egg whites, start out by wiping your bowl clean with a towel moistened with vinegar. This step ensures that an oil residue won't interfere with the fluffing of the egg whites.
12 teaspoon homemade lemon curd or store bought
2/3 cup vanilla soymilk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xantham gum
12 cupcake liners
3 egg whites, brought to room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon GF vanilla
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix wet cupcake batter ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
Mix the rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xantham gum together in another bowl.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
In an oiled muffin pan, place the paper cup liners. Inside each cup place 1 rounded tablespoon of batter. Follow with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Then finish with the remaining batter, dividing it equally among all the cupcakes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until baked through and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Let cool slightly while you prepare the meringue.
In a mixer combine the three egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly incorporate the sugar while the mixer is on. Continue mixing until the sugar has melted into the egg and mixture is fluffy, glistening white. Put uncooked meringue into a piping bag. Pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes in a circular motion, finishing with a peak in the center. Bake for just 10 to 15 minutes or until the meringue is slightly golden. It's important to keep a close eye on it as meringue can burn easily. Remove from oven and let cool completely.