Lemon meringue cupcakes

Hello chaps! I had a bit of a tinker in the kitchen today, and have two new recipes to share with you all. First up is lemon meringue cupcakes with homemade lemon curd. I paid a lot of money that I don’t have for ‘Eat me!’ by a lady calling herself ‘Cookie Girl’. Apart from the naughty title, it’s essentially the book I should have written (damn you). I thought I’d give her a test run, hence these little babies. Don’t worry, it’s all alarmingly easy. Swear.

So, let’s start with our sponge.

Sponge ingredients
4oz cream cheese, room temp
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
40z unsalted butter
4oz sugar
2 large eggs
40z self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder

1. You know the drill by now. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Whisk cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice together, and leave to one side. Cream butter and sugar together. Light and fluffy, light and fluffy, repeat to yourself. Add eggs, one by one, and whisk after each. Then add the sifted flour and baking powder. Now slowly add your cream cheese mix. It should look vaguely unappetising (see below) but taste delicious.

3. Pop your mixture into the cases, but not more than HALF FULL. Hear that? Hey, hey, you with the spoon – no MORE. It’s gonna rise. Rise like Paris Hilton’s career after that sex tape ‘mishap’. Get them in the oven and leave them alone for 20 minutes, if you can possibly stop yourself from ravaging them, that is. Now take them out and pop them on a wire rack to cool.

Lemon curd
3oz unsalted butter
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4oz caster sugar
grated rind of 2 lemons

4. Lemon curd time! Kind of like Hammer Time, but…less crazy pants. Slide your butter and lemon juice into a pan on a medium heat until the butter melts. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until blended.

5. Continue whisking while you add the hot butter mixture in gradually. Pour it all back into the pan. Cook on a medium heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. It’ll probably take around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl, and add the grated lemon rind.

2 large egg whites
2-4oz sugar (judge by eye)

6. Now for your meringues. I won’t lie to you, folks. I respect you more than that. It took me three attempts to get the meringues right. Firstly I shoved the sugar and the egg whites in a bowl all together and created raw egg soup. Second time, the egg whites took against me and wouldn’t co-operate (not very British of them, what what). Finally, it came out right. Much as I enjoyed ‘Cookie Girl’s recipe, she advised putting 8OZ of sugar in. She either has an unhealthy crack like dependency on sugar, or this was some sort of typo. Just put your sugar in by eye. Do yourself (and your insulin levels) a favour.

7. So, egg whites in a bowl, and whisk them into stiff peaks. Stop laughing. If you want that kind of thrill, go to a different kind of website. Add your sugar a little at a time and gently stir it in, taking care not to disturb the stiff peaks. Now, really. Grow up.

8. Take an apple corer and carve out the centre of your cupcake. What do you mean you don’t have an apple corer? You must! How the devil do you eat your apples then, you animal? Oh, fine. Use your finger. Or a knife. Anyway, scoop out a bit of the cake and pour lemon curd into the centre. Also spread a layer on top.

9. Get a spatula and swirl the meringue on top of the cupcake, sealing in the lemon curd. Hey presto!

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