Sunday, November 14, 2010
Did I do that?: Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes
Every time I make cupcakes I tell myself this will be the last time I make cupcakes.
But it was my dear friend Heather's birthday and I knew how much of a lemon lover she is (this girl eats lemons by the wedges like oranges). Jupiter aligned with Mars or something like that and I decided to go all out and make the most outrageous lemony cupcakes possible. I just recently finished my first ever batch of limoncello using lemons from my grandfather's backyard in Huntington Beach so I was eager to use some of my moonshine in the cupcakes since I only make boozy cupcakes anyway. I used Tartelette 's recipe for Meyer Lemon Limoncello cupcakes, including her lemon curd warranting a 300% lemon burst.
As a disclosure, these cupcakes are obviously not for kids, as:
1) There is limoncello in the frosting.
2) There is limoncello in the batter.
3) I am still bitter about never making do-over status as a babysitter during my teenage years.
I was a little intimated about making lemon curd, but it turned out to be ridiculously easy. By far the simplest part of making these cupcakes. This curd is more tart and less sweet than most I've tried but it provides the perfect zing and balance to the rest of the confection. I would make it again in a heartbeat for crepes or as a normal cake filling.
I admit, these cupcakes were delicious and cute, but I have hereby resigned from further making cupcakes. Until the next birthday.
Lemon Limoncello Cupcakes (adapted from Tartelette):
For the cupcakes:
2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons limoncello
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon
For the lemon curd:
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
For the cream cheese frosting:
2 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoon limoncello
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Prepare the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an extra minute. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to the butter/eggs mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add the lemonjuice and zest. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Prepare the lemon curd:
In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk to break them up. Beat some of the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat, let cool completely.
Prepare the cream cheese frsoting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat an extra minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
Cut a whole into each cupcake with a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the cream cheese frosting and pipe onto each cupcake.