Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lemon Curd Cupcakes (or are they Muffins?)

Strange things happen in my kitchen. I was thinking about making muffins, but ended with with something with a texture more like cupcakes. Things like that happen when I go recipe-less.

The whole adventure was fueled my my desire to use up some lemon curd. Yes, I have strange leftovers. I had lemon curd on hand, and I didn't want it to languish at the back of my refrigerator. So I thought it would make a great flavoring for some baked goods.

But what? Bread? Cookies? Cake? I thought muffins might be nice. Lemon breakfast muffins - a little bit sweet, but still with savory notes. It sounded like a fine plan, so I decided to play with recipes.

I didn't go completely off of nothing, though. I used the formula in Michael Ruhlman's book Ratios to figure out how much flour, liquid and leavening I needed. But then I went off the book because I didn't use eggs at all. I figured that the egg yolks in the lemon curd would be enough.

I've got to say that I wasn't disappointed at all with my creation. The flavor was great. A little sweet but not terribly so. The tops of the cupcakes were flat, but that's what usually happens up here at high altitude. It's a good bet that these would dome nicely at sea level. If you make them, let me know.

While they're great on their own, I thought a little frosting would be nice. But I don't like sweet frosting like buttercream. I mixed some cream cheese with just a little lemon curd, then lightened it up with some Greek-style yogurt.

Absolutely perfect!

Okay, if the tops had domed, I would have been a little happier. But otherwise, they were perfect.

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

5 ounces all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon curd
1 cup buttermilk

Spray muffin tins with baking spray, or line with  cupcake papers. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, beating until the mixture is light. Add the lemon curd, and beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix on low, only until just combined.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tins - this should be just enough for 12 - and bake at 400 degrees until the tops spring back when touched in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - about 25 minutes.

Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins and let them cool completely on a rack before frosting - or just sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar.

1 comment:

Sara said...

These look wonderful. Ratio is such a helpful resource, isn't it? I like the idea of using Greek yogurt in frosting, too.

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