June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Alex! (Almond Lemon Meringue Cupcakes)

On Tuesday my son Alex turned 8 years old.  To celebrate we went with a few of his friends to a local arcade to play laser tag.  Since he's hoping for a Bionicle cake for his family birthday party (dear me, I'm so screwed! this cake was a challenge and I had my own kitchen to bake in--I'm going to be downstate 5 hours from my kitchen!!)  I thought I'd keep this first run simple with cupcakes.  I made our perennial favorite cocoa cake with seven minute frosting, minus the corn syrup for a corn allergic guest.  Then because my husband John is *trying* to go grain free/paleo I also made the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes from Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages.  I love that everything in it is sweetened only with honey.  It's easy to find baked goods recipes using agave or flavored with honey but with sugar as well but rarely do you find honey only recipes.  For my honey I used local star thistle honey from Sleeping Bear Farms.  The cakes are almond flour based filled with lemon curd and topped with honey meringue.   I find all lemon curd tremendously addictive and this one was no exception though the cake turned out to be the bigger hit.  John loved them unfrosted and I can see myself making the cakes again and topping them with a dark chocolate ganache.

Here are my American adaptations/interpretations to the recipe so I can remember them:  3 large tsp of nut butter = 3 rounded teaspoons; 2 dessert spoons of mild honey = 2 tablespoons; 50 ml vegetable oil = 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (or rather 3T + guesstimate a third of a tablespoon); 160C fan assisted = 325 degrees F convection. The recipe as written made 16 mini cupcakes in nut cup papers baked for 11-13 minutes.  Coconut oil works well in place of the butter in the lemon curd and you don't need to add it slowly, just whisk well.  It will make the curd grainy cold but be smooth at room temperature.  Thanks Naomi for the great recipe!

The mini cupcake brigade