Passion Fruit Meringue Cupcakes!! (semi-fail)

Once again my frosting didn’t turn out as I expected. Egg whites and me don’t mix (pun intended) very well. I don’t seem to have much luck with them weather they are in a curd or a frosting…

I couldn’t deicide what I wanted to make for my birthday. Honestly it’s a bit awkward making your own birthday cake. Anyhow I finally decided on these cupcakes from Making Cupcakes with Lola-it meant I got another chance at making a curd and it satisfied one of my favorite flavors at the moment passion fruit!!

I made the curd the night before my birthday, success! Then I made the cupcakes on my birthday, but after a very indulgent meal I wasn’t really in the mood for cake. So, the following day I filled the cupcakes, but again I wasn’t in the mood for cake at all. Weird. I was just going to leave it, but I had hunted down a kitchen blowtorch for the meringue topping and felt I had no choice. Then on top of it I had both my mini bakers on at me about cake!

I made the frosting and everything seemed to go well. It was making soft peaks and it says to refrigerate it to further firm it up. I don’t think my soft peaks were peak enough and when it didn’t pipe right I was like right **** it!! I should have listened to my mood; I didn’t want to make them so it didn’t turn out. It shows me that I am really only a recreational baker. I could never do this for a living! Of course when you work in a bakery you have tried and tested recipes that don’t change day to day.

Here is the recipe maybe you’ll have better luck then me! Enjoy!!
This is actually a scone with cream and the passionfruit curd on top!
A nice way to use up the extra curd! Yummy!!
passion fruit curd: Make this in the morning or a day ahead!
3 eggs
1 egg yolk- Save the white for the meringue
100ml (1/2 cup) passion fruit juice, sifted (about 6 fruits)
175g (3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp) caster/superfine sugar
125g (1 stick) butter, cubed

Mix the eggs together in a heatproof bowl.
Boil the juice and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.
Slowly pour the hot fruit syrup into the eggs stirring briskly and constantly so not to scramble the eggs.
Set the bowl of egg mixture onto a pan of simmering water, as you would if you were melting chocolate, and whisk gently for 20-30 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time. Let cool then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, over night if possible.
cupcake:
125g (1 cup) self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
100g (6 ½ tbsp) butter, cubed and soft
150g (3/4 cup) caster/superfine sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of ½ lemon
2 eggs
75ml (1/3) cup plain yogurt

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas4
Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in almonds.
Beat/cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the lemon zest then add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients and yogurt and beat on low until combined.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cool completely before frosting.
frosting fail I didn't even get to use my new kitchen blowtorch :0(
meringue:
3 egg whites
180g (1 cup) caster/superfine sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Mix the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar together in a heatproof bowl. Same as with the curd set on top of a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and a sugar thermometer reads 60C/140F.
Remove from the heat and with a hand mixer on low whisk the mixture. Gradually increase the speed to high until stiff, glossy (but not dry) peaks have formed. (It’s here I think I went wrong, patience has never been one of my virtues and I think I sped up my mixer to quick.) Whisk in the vanilla. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until firm enough to pipe.

to finish:
When the cupcakes are cool, make a hole in them with a tsp and fill with a dollop of curd.
Spread the meringue on top or fill a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes.
Hold a kitchen blowtorch about 10cm/4 in from the meringue and scorch evenly.
Even though the frosting/merinque didn't turn out exactly right they still tasted good! My mini-bakers didn’t care that it wasn't exactly right and ate them up! I just find it frustrating when I spent the time to make something and it didn’t work!
My sister recently had a similar sort of problem as me. Janet made salted caramel cupcakes form Martha Stewarts Cupcake book and nothing turned out except the frosting!
She too wasn’t in the mood, but had bought all the ingredients and to make sure some of them didn’t go off made them anyway.
Carla Hall from season 5 of Top Chef became known for her philosophy of "cooking with love", which she defined as putting one's own care and warmth into food. She believes that if one is happy and calm while cooking, then this will show in the food, making it much better, whereas if one feels otherwise, it will degrade their cuisine. For this reason, she says that, “If you’re not in a good mood, the only thing you should make is a reservation.” (wikipedia) I compeletely agree with her!! I think baking is the same! You must be "in the mood!"

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