Friday, August 21, 2015

Lime-Almond Cupcakes and Kitchen Robes

Not quite sure how to start my first blog post... I will get the hang of it on the next ones, hopefully...
For now, I will quote a short conversation that I just had with my husband:
- [husband:] You got a small stain on your shirt.
- [me:] Yeah, I probably got it while making dinner. I get my shirt stained quite a lot in the kitchen.
- You should wear a kitchen robe.
- You mean an apron?...
- Yeah, an apron; why do we need that word? it's a *kitchen* *robe*! no need for a special word for that!...
- You're right, honey, as always...

These cupcakes are great for these hot summer days, when your sweet tooth calls for something more refreshing and less heavy than usual.
The cupcakes recipe is based on a Lemon-Almond-Cake recipe by the extremely talented Natalie Levin.
The lime curd recipe (and now that I look at it - probably the inspiration for my cupcakes' overall structure as well...) was taken from a Lemon-Meringue-Cupcakes recipe by the sweetest Chen Shukrun

Lime-Almond Cupcakes
Yields: 12 Cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
  • 180 grams sugar
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / paste
  • a pinch of salt
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil (not olive oil!)
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 ml (~5 oz) sour cream
  • 45 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • finely-grated lime peel out of 2 limes
  • 45 grams almond meal/flour
  • 210 grams (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 7.5 grams (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
for the lime syrup:
  • half cup water
  • 80 grams sugar
  • lime zest out of 1 lime
for the lime curd:
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 90 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
for the whipped-cream frosting:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla pudding mix (powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / paste

  • Preheat oven to 340 degrees (F).
  • Lime curd: Over a double boiler, whisk constantly all lime curd ingredients except the butter in a medium bowl, until thickened (about ~15 minutes). 
  • Remove bowl from the double boiler.
  • While still hot, add cold-butter cubes to the curd, one by one. Whisk the curd well after each butter-cube addition, until butter fully dissolves. 
  • Let curd sit a few minutes in room temperate, until slightly cooler. 
  • Cover bowl in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cupcakes assembly time. 
  • Cupcakes [no mixer needed]: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract/paste and salt until well combined.
  • Add in oil and melted butter; whisk until combined.
  • Add in sour cream, lime juice, milk and grated lime peel; whisk until combined.
  • Add in almond meal/flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder. Whisk only until combined, not beyond that. 
  • Transfer batter into a cupcake/muffin pan, lined with cupcake/muffin paper liners. Fill each cavity to about 3/4 full. 
  • Bake 20-25 minutes.
  • Lime syrup (prepare while cupcakes are in the oven)Put all syrup ingredients in a small pot. 
  • Bring pot to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat, cook for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  • Let the syrup sit in room temperature until cupcakes are ready. 
  • Immediately after taking the cupcakes out of the oven, generously brush cupcakes with the syrup using a basting/pastry brush. 
  • Let cupcakes completely cool to room temperature, ~30 minutes / 1 hour. 
  • [Optional, if you want extra-curd in your cupcakes:] Using a small knife, melon baller or another cutting tool, create a small cavity by removing a ~1/2-inch-diameter ball out of the center of the cupcake-top. 
  • Using a spoon or a pastry bag, Frost each cupcake with the refrigerated lime curd.  
  • Whipped-cream frosting: Whip together all whipped-cream frosting ingredients on high speed, until firm. 
  • Using a pastry bag with a star tip, frost each cupcake with the whipped-cream. 
  • Enjoy immediately!

Cupcakes can be kept up to 4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. 
It is recommended to eat them in room-temperature though, so before digging into a refrigerated cupcake - leave it out in room temperature for ~15-30 minutes. 

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