The last cupcake in my cupcake series is Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.
The classic combination of lemon and meringue is easily translated into a cupcake. A mouth-wateringly luscious and sticky lemon sponge has a lemon curd centre and is topped with a Swiss meringue and finished off under the grill.
To help keep the sponge really moist, I create a lemon drizzle (although not in the same fashion as an actual lemon drizzle cake) from lemon juice and sugar syrup. For the Swiss meringue, you make a standard meringue mixture except you whisk the meringue over a pan of simmering water which cooks the meringue and makes it really sticky but means that it doesn’t require baking. The best way to determine its doneness is to feel it between your fingers. It should be smooth and sticky and doesn’t look dry.
Here are other food bloggers’ lemon recipes:
For the lemon sponge
210g caster sugar
240g self raising flour
3 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon curd mixed with 50g Greek yoghurt
For the filling and topping
100g simple sugar syrup made by boiling 60g sugar with 60g water until it is a syrup
3 tbsp lemon juice
12 tsp lemon curd (shopbought or homemade)
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
Place all the ingredients for the sponge into a large bowl and beat for 1 minute using an electric whisk until well incorporated and even, scraping down halfway through. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly divide the batter between the 12 cases, making sure not to fill them more than two-thirds full.
Bake for 18 minutes or until the cakes are springy, golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
During the baking, make the lemon syrup by mixing together the sugar syrup with the lemon juice. During the cooling process, spoon over 2 tsp of the lemon syrup over each cupcake. Then allow to cool fully. Use a sharp knife to cut out a small hole in the centre of the cake and fill with a teaspoon of lemon curd.
For the Swiss meringue, put the egg whites, sugar and lemon juice into a clean heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of gently simmering water (do not allow to boil or the meringue will cook too far) and whisk for about 5 minutes until it is done (see above to check its doneness).
Spread (or pipe if you prefer) some meringue onto the top of each cupcake and place under a medium grill until browned. If you are lucky enough to have a blowtorch, you can use that too.