17
Jun
11

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade Cupcakes – recipe 2 from the Cupcake Interview

As Hilary noted in the interview, these were inspired by a strawberry-basil lemonade I made about a week prior (which will be posted shortly), which was inspired in turn by a delicious cocktail I had at the Nelligan in Montreal. I wanted to make something quite bright to contrast with the heavier flavours in the s’mores cupcakes. These cupcakes have a lemon-basil cake, are filled with lemon curd, and are topped with a strawberry-basil frosting.

Str-bas-lem2

Lemon-Basil cupcakes

2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

1 handful fresh basil leaves

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 recipe lemon curd (there are so many different recipes out there, but the flavour profile remains similar – for this version, I decided to try the lemon curd recipe from Baked)

1 recipe Strawberry-Meringue Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 325º F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Add the lemon zest, basil leaves and sugar to the bowl of a food processor, tearing the basil leaves into slightly smaller pieces as you add them. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until the mixture is uniform with a minimal amound of basil leaves visible. Measure out 1 cup of the lemon-basil sugar and reserve the remainder for the frosting.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1 cup of lemon-basil sugar and the lemon juice. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter. Add the lemon-basil sugar mixture and mix well.

Add the vanilla to the almond milk.

Alternately add the almond milk and flour mixtures to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make lemon curd using your preferred recipe. Chill until cold and set. Then, fill muffins with lemon curd using your preferred method.

Frost with Strawberry-Meringue Frosting.

Strawberry-Meringue Frosting

1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped

reserved lemon-basil sugar

splash of lemon juice

4 egg whites

1/2 cup invert sugar or corn syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter

Toss the strawberries with the lemon-basil sugar and the lemon juice. Let macerate for at least an hour, then purée until smooth.

Meanwhile, set a small pot of water to simmer. Add the egg whites, invert sugar and sugar to the bowl of a standmixer and place the bowl over the simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved, the mixture has lightened, and the temperature has reached 160º F. Immediately remove the bowl from the heat and replace it in the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high until it has increased in volume, cooled, and turned bright white.

Add the butter, a knob at a time, until incorporated. Pour in the strawberry purée, a little at a time, until the desired colour and flavour are reached. Pipe the frosting onto the filled cupcakes.

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