In 2010, the first series of Junior Masterchef Australia was won by a 12 year old girl from Queensland, Isabella Bliss. This Lemon Meringue Cupcake was Isabella's first mystery box challenge which she completed in 40 minutes. With no recipe in hand, the talented 12 year old completed the challenge using the ingredients in the mystery box. The result was these luscious looking cupcakes which I have been recreating and baking again and again for friends.
There are 3 components in the cupcake which are the cake, the tangy lemon curd and the meringue. The cake is made of thickened cream instead of butter, and it is a breeze to make them though I always take more than the 40 minutes challenge to complete the whole process.
A blowtorch is ideal to brown the meringue but I do not have one. It is a shame that my meringue is unevenly brown with some burnt ends, otherwise these would have made it to the most gorgeous cupcakes I ever made.
Isabella's Lemon Meringue Cupcake
250ml pure cream
220g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
225g self raising flour
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
110g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
110g 1/2 cup caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2 cup capacity muffin pan.
- Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth. Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.
- For lemon curd, heat lemon juice and butter in a small saucepan and simmer until butter has melted. Add sugar, egg and yolks and cook, whisking continuously until mixture becomes thick and glossy. Pour into a shallow oven tray to cool.
- For meringue,beat egg whites in an electric mixer until firm peaks form,gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time beating until sugar has dissolved between each addition. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag.
- To serve, preheat grill to medium high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1 -2 teaspoons of lemon curd. Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden. Arrange on a serving plate with spoonfuls of lemon curd if desired.
You can also try my favourite lemon curd.
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
165g caster sugar
90g chilled unsalted butter
zest and juice of lemons
Whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
For a more stablised meringue, you can do Italian meringue.
3 egg whites, 90gm
Combine sugar and water in a small pot over medium high heat. Without stirring, bring the syrup to a boil and let it cook gently until the temperature reaches 115C(soft ball). Meanwhile begin to whisk the egg whites while the sugar syrup is bubbling. Whisk egg whites to stiff peak, gradually pour the syrup in a small stream into the egg whites. Continue whisking until the mixing bowl is cooled to touch.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.1 Peter 5:10