I really like cupcakes with hidden centers, don't you?
I like eating them, I like making them, and I really like seeing other people enjoy them.
There are various ways to get a hidden centre into a cupcake...okay, really only two...into the batter, or into the baked cupcake.
Which you choose depends on the cupcake, and on the fill. Am I stating the obvious??
If you want to put the centre in before you bake the cupcakes, then you have to make sure that your batter is dense enough to hold the weight of the fill.
And if you are going to squeeeze a centre into a baked cupcake, then use cake that is airy enough to accommodate the extra volume.
Of course, to make room you can just cut a cone out of your cupcake and throw it away...or eat it... but, there is not much to say about that, except - use a sharp knife ; )
For these "Lemony Cupcakes" I used light and airy cupcakes, and force-fed them with some lemon curd.
The recipe for the cupcakes is here, you can also add some lemon zest to the batter, if you like.
Lemon Curd Recipe
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
30 ml lemon juice
115g butter, cut into cubes (about 16)
Use a glass or metal bowl that you can place on top of a pot of simmering water.
(NB the bottom of the bowl must not be in contact with the water).
Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth.
Add the lemon juice and zest. Mix well.
Place the bowl on top of the pot of gently simmering water.
Whisk until mixture starts to thicken. (10+ minutes....yawn!). It should "coat the back of a spoon".
Pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl - to remove the zest.
Add the butter a cube at a time, allowing it to melt (mostly) before adding the next...I'm a bit of an impatient baker...
Store with a layer of cling-wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate.
Now...to get the curd into the cake...This is what I do, but you can cut a cone out of your cupcake if you want to...
Put the lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a long narrow piping tip, bury the tip into the cupcake - aim for the centre. And squeeze. Complicated, hey?! A little bit does erupt onto the surface of the cupcake, but that's just like a little extra zing hidden in the icing.
For the icing for these - I used cream cheese icing cream cheese icing with grated lemon zest (yes, these are very lemony cupcakes!).
Ed's note: try these cupcakes with lemon swiss meringue buttercream - recipe here
The first time I made these because I needed to use up some egg yolks - exactly 5, in fact. But I liked them so much that I've made them again, and now I have to use up 5 egg whites. The perfect number for Swiss Meringue Buttercream .... Or macarons....
And I'm thinking, bye-bye Switzerland, France here we come....wish me luck ; )