I'm just not crazy about curd. I think my problem stems from the fact that my first association with the word had to do with curdled milk--NOT pleasant. Plus, even before I learned about fruit curds, I knew about bean curd and how very unappetizing it could be.
That's already two strikes against fruit curd, even before I tasted it for the first time. As you might recall, I'm not necessarily a fan of the whole sweet-tart dessert combination, so in the end, the stuff's just not on my list of must-eats (though I did make a blueberry curd once that wasn't half bad). Three strikes. Take your seat in the dugout, curd.
So. These cupcakes. A key lime pie cupcake sounds great, right? Well, I wasn't thrilled. The cake is good--soft, fluffy, and with a nice crumb. The curd is good (as curds go...)--tart, creamy, and bright. And obviously, the whipped cream is good--it's whipped cream. Sadly, to me, this is one case where the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts. It just didn't mesh the way I wanted it to, and it really was nothing like key lime pie. While it was approved by my totally unbiased (and completely wonderful) taste-tester, I still feel like I have some work to do on this one, folks. Stay tuned.
|Note to self: Do not bake white cupcakes on the bottom rack.|
As an aid in making these cupcakes inspired by key lime pie, I used my brand spankin' new cupcake corer from OXO. They've specially marked a few baking items, and for each one sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Plus, they're donating $100 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in September.
You can find OXO & Cookies for Kids' Cancer on social media here:Twitter: @OXO, @Cookies4Kids
Instagram: @OXO, @Cookies4Kids
Facebook: facebook.com/OXO, facebook.com/CookiesForKidsCancer
Pinterest: pinterest.com/OXO, pinterest.com/Cookies4Kids
I'm so happy to be a part of this! The icing on the cake is the fact that the cupcake corer works like a dream.
Lime Curded (but not curdled) Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 2-1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
- 1-1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lime zest and graham cracker crumbs for garnish
First, make the curd, as it needs to set up in the fridge for awhile. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook, whisking continuously until the mixture resembles slightly whipped cream. Remove from the heat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least an hour before using. You can strain it if you're disturbed by flecks of egg white, but if you've made it properly, that won't be a problem.
Next, start on your cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the mixture is very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Cool on wire rack.
To make the frosting, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream and sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl until medium peaks form.
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole (or use your fancy cupcake corer!) and spoon the curd inside. Apply frosting generously to the cupcakes, top each with a sprinkling of lime zest and graham cracker crumbs, and, after giving the components a few minutes to get to know each other, devour.