Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lemon Lattice White Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe was originally for a 3 layer white cake.  There have been several comments that this is a good recipe for a wedding cake.  The assembly of the cake is cake layer, then curd, then frosting.  The top of my cupcakes is the same as the cake would be and, of course, the cake sides would need to be frosted.

The texture of the cake is like a pound cake.  Even though it is dense, it is quite moist. If my actions are any indication how good the cake is, note that I greased the inside of the cupcake papers prior to baking. I just wanted to make sure that very little of the cake was wasted by being stuck to the paper!

The frosting and curd do require a minimum of 6 hours for chilling prior to putting on cupcakes.  I found it best to make the frosting and curd one day before.  The next day you can bake and decorate the cupcakes.  This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Lemon Lattice White Chocolate Cupcakes
courtesy of Bon Appetit /Feb 1991

Ingredients/Lemon Curd
2 tbs grated lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbs cornstarch
1 cup and 2 tbs sugar
3 eggs
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup (1 stick) and 2 tbs butter (room temp/cut into cubes)

3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups whipping cream
4.5 oz imported white chocolate, chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs milk
1 cup whipping cream
4 oz imported white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (room temp)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs (separated)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 3/4 cup flour

Due to the required chilling time, the curd and frosting will be made first.  For the curd, take out a medium size saucepan.  Fill with cornstarch and lemon juice and blend until cornstarch dissolves.  Add all the other ingredients and whisk together.  Then place saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk and cook until mixture just comes to a boil. This should take about seven minutes, resulting in a thick smooth texture.  Remove saucepan from heat and pour into strainer over a heat proof bowl.  Once all is strained, cover curd and bowl with plastic wrap.  The wrap will need to be touching all of the surface of the curd, so none of it will dry out.  It is important for the piping that there are no lumps to clog the tip.  Place bowl in fridge to chill for 6 hours or more.

Now, the frosting will need to be mixed and heated.  Take out a small saucepan and fill with only 1/2 cup of the cream and the 4.5 oz of white chocolate.  Place over a low burner and stir until all chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.  Pour the chocolate cream into a large heat proof bowl.  Add the vanilla and rest of the cream, stirring until blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 6 hours or more.

Prepare your pans by greasing the top edge of the muffin inserts and place cupcake papers inside muffin holders. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a medium size bowl, sift together salt, baking powder and flour.  Then sift ingredients a second time. Set aside.

Fill a medium size saucepan with 1/2 cup of cream and 4 oz of chocolate and place over low heat.  This will need to be stirred until chocolate has melted.  Stir in the remaining amount of cream, vanilla and milk until blended.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together in a large bowl. Once the mixture has a fluffy texture, add the yolks and continue to beat.  Fold in 1/3 of the sifted ingredients, then mix in 1/2 of the cream chocolate batter.  As you are stirring, continue to add the remaining sifted ingredients and cream chocolate batter in increments, ending with dry.  Set aside this bowl of cake batter.

Find the bowl of egg whites and beat with an electric mixer until the eggs turn into a glossy white mixture that holds soft peaks. Continuing to beat, slowly add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. The egg whites should be beaten until they hold stiff peaks without being dry.  Then fold 1/2 of the whites into the cake batter, repeat until all whites are blended.

Pour batter into each muffin cavity, filling about 3/4 full. There is not a lot of rise in the batter during baking. Place filled pan in oven and bake for 18-24 minutes.  Cupcakes are done when edges are toasty and tester comes out clean.  Remove pan and let cool for 4 minutes, then remove cupcakes and place on racks to finish cooling.

Once cupcakes have cooled as well as frosting and lemon curd, a cone should be cut out of the center of each cupcake.  Discard cone.  Then prepare a pastry bag with a large decorating tip or you can use a plastic freezer bag with the corner cut off.  Add the lemon curd to the bag.  Using the bag, fill each cupcake cavity with the lemon curd.  After filling, smooth top of curd so it is flush with the top of the cupcake.

Take out the frosting and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  The consistency should be glossy and thick, not dry.  With a butter knife, frost the tops of the cupcakes.  This will be the bottom layer of the cupcake topping, so just use enough frosting to cover the cupcake (see above picture).

If not serving right away, refrigerate cupcakes.  Let come to room temperature 1/2 hour before serving.