Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lemon Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting



As promised: The Best Cupcakes Ever, Part II
(Click here for Part I, Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes)


Yup, it's pretty much the ultimate cupcake.


It's a vanilla cupcake filled with gooey lemon curd and topped with blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It's like biting into a little piece of heaven.


Ok so...after finding the second love of my life (Hubby being the first), the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I felt compelled to test it again to see if it was too good to be true. I mean, seeing as I tested out the first love of my life by dating him for seven years before walking down the aisle, logically, this buttercream deserves the same meticulous scrutiny. I don't just give away my love so freely, you know? =) Plus, publicly declaring something as being the ultimate is a pretty big statement to make. Since I'm putting my reputation as a cook and foodie on the line here, I had to be certain that it would withstand different recipe variations.

I saw on Crispy Waffle's site that she had a recipe for Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream on a Grand Marnier cupcake. It served as inspiration for my blueberry lemon ones. On her site, she gives two recipe variations: one for the Swiss Meringue buttercream and one for the Italian Meringue buttercream. I simply substituted the strawberries in her SMB recipe for blueberries. She says that she prefers IMB, which is also something I've been meaning to try. But since this weekend was devoted to the SMB, I went with that recipe. Definitely stay tuned for when I try out the IMB. I plan on doing a full comparison of the two meringues, one of these days.


Step 1: The Lemon Curd Filling
(See below for recipe)


I love lemon curd. It's tangy and has a creamy, smooth, and silky texture. It's sooo delicious. It's slightly tart and sour, so it acts as a great way to balance out the sweetness of the cupcake and frosting. Although, it's entirely necessary. The cupcake and buttercream are subtly sweet and super delicious on its own. I just happen to love the flavor combination of blueberries and lemon, so I decided to go all out and make them lemon-filled. Please feel free to skip this step. The cupcake by itself with the fresh blueberry buttercream can definitely hold its own. The lemon filling just gives it an edge. =)


It's super easy to make. Start by whisking together the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar. (I couldn't find my whisk, so I went ghetto and used my hand-held mixer beaters. hehe)


Put it over med-low heat & whisk for about 8-10 min until it thickens.


When you take it off the heat, it'll be kinda lumpy from the zest and you might have some tiny pieces of cooked egg, so put it through a strainer. Seems like an unnecessary step, but trust me, you don't wanna skip it. You'll be surprised at all the left over chunks that end up in the sieve.


You'll get this silky & smooth mixture afterward.


It needs to chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Make sure to wrap it tightly, with the saran wrap touching the surface of the lemon curd. This way, it doesn't dry out. When it's well chilled and ready to go, stir until smooth again before using.


Step 2: The Vanilla Cupcake



I stick to this great vanilla cupcake recipe by WS. If you follow the directions meticulously, you should get a super moist and delicious cupcake. It's not too sweet and has a lovely, fragrant vanilla flavor. Make sure not to over mix, and please use real vanilla extract, not the imitation stuff. It really makes a difference.


Step 3: The Blueberry Sauce



The blueberry sauce for the buttercream is super easy to make. You basically puree them and that's it. Since I love blueberries, I doubled what the recipe called for and made it a "more coarse" puree, if that makes sense. I wanted it to still have chunks of blueberry here and there to give it that pretty "blue sprinkles" look. I chilled the blueberry puree in the fridge for about an hour. It will come out congealed, kinda like soft jello. I think this is what made it okay to double the blueberry puree. It didn't make the buttercream too soft to pipe. (See Crispy Waffle's site for recipe.)


Step 4: Fill the Cupcakes with Lemon Curd



I got this little injector/frosting bottle from Crate and Barrel a while back. It allows for a quick and easy way to fill your cupcakes. If you don't have one, simply use any frosting tip you have and a pastry bag. Insert the entire tip into your cupcake and squeeze until the curd starts over flowing, like so:


Smooth out the filling with your finger.


Step 5: The Swiss Meringue Buttercream



Please refer to my prior post: The Best Cupcakes Ever, Part I for details on how to make the frosting.


When the buttercream is smooth and finished, pour in your chilled blueberry puree and mix until well combined. Isn't it pretty with all the blueberry specks?


Step 6: Frost Your Cupcakes!



I usually don't post this many pictures of the finished product...


but they're so gorgeous that I couldn't resist!


They're the best when served right away. If you have to refrigerate them, make sure to let them rest at room temp for 20-30 minutes before serving. The frosting needs time to soften. Chilling it makes it lose its flavor temporarily until it softens again.

I can't even begin to describe how delicious they were! You'll just have to try out this recipe to see for yourself! There's a lot of steps to it, but it's totally worth it. Bring them to your next party and wow everyone with your awesome inner domestic goddess.

Hubby has the most spoiled palate ever now. And he's a big brat about it too! The other day, when we were in the baked goods section of Safeway, he wrinkled his nose at the cupcakes and remarked that he would never again eat one of those. lol. Later, when we were in the baking aisle and he saw me grab a box of cake mix, he told me in a very stern voice to "put it back," and once again conveyed to me that he would refuse to eat it. (For the record, I wasn't planning on feeding it to anyone, let alone him. I was going to use it as an experiment to practice my cake decorating skills.) When I set out to domesticate him after getting married, I didn't know I would create such a monster! lol. Anyway, consider yourself forewarned. If you make this for your husband/boyfriend, he might turn into a total diva and refuse to eat anything perceived to be sub-par!


Please click HERE for all the recipes shown in this entry.


27 comments:

  1. Oh wow, this looks absolutely gorgeous and no wonder you posts that many pics. I would too and I'm definitely going to try out the frosting soon.

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  2. thanks! let me know how you like it when you try it out. =)

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  3. So I'd like to add my 2 cents on the boxed cake issue. I'm kind of a boxed cake connoisseur. I made a lot during college. The best/cheap boxed cake is chocolate betty crocker. I make it in 2 layers and put homemade raspberry filling in the middle and homemade chocolate frosting on the outside. You'd be surprised at the compliments! But I also use it to practice decoration :-) Have fun and be sure to post the results!

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  4. These look incredible, and your photos are beautiful. Berry and lemon is one of my very favorite flavor combos. Injecting frosting is so cathartic, isn't it? :)

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  5. These are gorgeous!!!!! I love the flavor combination! I made cupcakes last week with a lime curd filling. This lemon sounds lovely !

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  6. Mmm, those look delicious! And beautiful, too boot!

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  7. I think you might have been speaking to me when you emphasized that the whole process is worth the extra steps involved. Meaning, I would love to create such beautiful and delicious cupcakes, but I always forget to plan ahead for things like chilling the lemon curd and cooking the blueberry sauce. However, my parents are coming to visit, and I know my mother would love the combination of blueberry and lemon as well. So, you got me! Thanks.

    Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.

    Best,
    Casey
    Editor
    www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

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  8. WOW. These are not just the kind of cupcakes to bring to a party... these are the kind of cupcakes to plan a party for!! And I am convinced that I have to try swiss meringue buttercream for my next cake!

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  9. These are the prettiest cupcakes ever!
    I love all of your pictures!

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  10. These look--and sound like they taste--completely freaking awesome!!!

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  11. beautiful! and the buttercream looks to die for. x

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  12. That frosting is wonderful. These sound just delicious!

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  13. Oh my golly! These are one of the loveliest cupcakes I've ever laid eyes on! The frosting is gorgeous! Fabulous job on these!

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  14. I am thuroughly impressed by these cupcakes. Not only do they look delicious they look fresh. Impressed that you made every component from scratch! looking forward to reading more great recipes from your blog!

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  15. Judy.. I saw you were added to the MSC blog too!! Nice. It will be nice baking the same things and seeing how they turn out. Where do you take your pics at? They turn out great - just love it.

    I also like all the new comments.. increasing readership I see.

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  16. OMG! These look incredible! How much blueberry puree did you use in the Swiss buttercream?

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  17. it was about 1 cup of puree.

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  18. Ok, I've just made these. And {{{sigh}}} I have yet to eat one whole one just yet...I've only tasted the blueberry smb just before piping.

    Oh and can I just say: Bliss! Joy! I luv it. Luv it. Luv it.

    I made these for a holiday "party" at my (dare i say it?) dieting group. I have a feeling that when the head gal said "Bring food, anything you like, for our xmas gathering", I'm not too sure she will be expecting these.

    Thanks soo much for the creation of the two flavours, Judy. They are deeee-vine!!!

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  19. Cute!! (now I see that you had stumbled on my other recipe) :)

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  20. I've just come across your blog, what wonderful recipes you have here! I started making lemon curd a few months ago and am always looking for an excuse to make a batch- I will definitely try this yummy sounding cupcake!

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  21. Dear Judy,

    your cupcake recipes are absolutely AMAZING. it's shere pleasure just looking at the pictures and following the steps. i have one question, though, with regards to the Lemon filled Vanilla cupcakes with Blueberry Swiss Meringue. when i tried folding the blueberries into the frosting - it turned green. how do you keep the purple colour? Many thanks,

    Navesh B.S

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  22. LOL! i'm sorry but i really don't know why it would turn green! that's so bizarre! i've never had that happen to me before. the only thing i can think of is maybe your butter is.. um, too yellow? because doesn't blue and yellow make green? the butter i use is a high quality sweet cream butter that's almost white in color. maybe that would help!

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  23. Making these tonight! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, looking, making, and then eating your baked creations! You should also mention that in addition to turning husbands into divas, the same effect is had on children! I have a 5 and 7 yr old girls, and after eating the decadent dark chocolate brownies, turned their nose (quite high in the air I might add) at their aunts boxed brownies! Luckily she was a good sport about it because she doesn't bake at all and I LOVE to! It is nice to know they are getting an early education that most times, 'from scratch' is worth the effort! Not to mention it is quickly becoming a lost art. Keep up the good work!

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  24. hehe thanks April! everything just tastes 100 times better when it's made from scratch! =) i hope you enjoy these cupcakes!!

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