Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lemon Cream Cupcake Recipe

Last Sunday, we were introduced to a missionary who had just lost his wife and thus had to come back to New Zealand. He was having the funeral at our church today and we (the congregation) received an email for help - for baked goods for their afternoon tea. I, very happily and respectfully, volunteered and planned to make cupcakes for this occasion.

I absolutely loved my first lemon cupcakes but came across this other lemon cupcake recipe that was getting rave reviews. So, I decided to venture out and bake this one.

With frosting, I also decided try something I haven't before - Dark Chocolate Ganache. This was another interesting experience.

Here's the recipe - adapted from "Hometown Cooking"

Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 C all-purpose flour/cake flour (I used this)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C (226g) butter softened and at room temp
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp only)
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz (226g) dairy sour cream
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • (I also added 2 Tbsp lemon juice just because I wanted to taste the lemon more strongly)
Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
  • 1 C thickened cream
  • 400g bittersweet dark chocolate
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line cupcake pans with paper cups.
  • Combine flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer then add sugar and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream (and lemon juice if you're adding it) alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition is just combined. (Do not overmix!) Stir in lemon peel. The batter will be very thick)
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into each cup. Bake about 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
  • Break chocolate into small pieces and put in a small bowl.
  • Put the crea into a saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted.
The cupcakes were not as light and fluffy as my other lemon cupcakes. It also lacked a lot of lemony flavour. It was still light and fluffy but more dense and very soft. The texture was definitely completely different. Also, my lemon cupcakes had a very buttery aftertaste but with this cupcake, I could not taste the butter as strongly. I know which one I personally prefer but I think it comes down to preference.

The Chocolate Ganache - now I know that I need to use fresh cream (heavy whipping cream) rather than the thickened cream (and most Ganache recipes call for heavy cream unlike this recipe). The thickened cream was so thick that the frosting started hardening a lot faster than I was ready for - I could not use my piping tube! I also ended up having bits of unmelted chocolate in my frosting.. :(
I've seen other Ganache recipes using butter (probably about 2-3 table spoons - melted in with the cream) but I opted not to do that. Other than the mistake of using thickened cream this is a great chocolate frosting. It's pure chocolate unlike 'chocolate butter cream frosting' and the like.

A little story. I had to drop these off in the morning before work so the frosting was made in the morning but the cupcakes were made last night. I was in the middle of prepping my ingredients to bake the cupcakes and as I was spooning my butter, I realised I didn't have enough. I had all my ingredients laid out (eggs cracked and everything) and was short of butter. I had a tub of shortening but could not bring myself to use it so, I stopped, left all my ingredients out in the open, drove out to a supermarket and bought the butter, came back and continued baking. :D Ahhhh the joy of living with my anal-retentive self. :)

I was disappointed I could not use my new piping tube but I know I'll get to use it in the very near future...hopefully... :)

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