Recipe: Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Blueberry Frosting

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How do you get to a person's soul? You find out what they eat.

Most of the time, if you bring a person down to his darkest moments, the very first thing he is going to do is hunt down a tattered slice of pizza from that place on 3rd and Main, or maybe the fried tofu from the Chinese place next to the strip mall.

Perhaps that was a little dark, but it happens. Think about the last time you went through a big breakup or fucked up a big job interview. Did you call your best friend? Did you go out and drink a beer or two or 12? Sure you did. But you damn sure ordered a pizza first, or got whatever food comforts you the most.

I'm not saying food's better than crying on your friend's shoulder ... I'm just saying that food can make you feel better in ways that other stuff can't. These Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Blueberry Frosting definitely make me feel that way, so I'm going to make them.

Here's what you need:

Lemon Curd:
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
- 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Zest

Cupcakes:
- 2 Eggs
- 1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 and 1/4 Cups Sugar
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter (softened)
- 1/3 Cup and 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Grated Lemon Zest
- 1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Frosting
- 1.2 ounces Freeze-Dried Blueberries (I know that's ridiculously specific, but just get regular blueberries and throw them in a food processor if you don't live near a fancy food market thing that has freeze-dried stuff)
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Butter (softened)

Directions:
First, do the lemon curd.

Get yourself a double boiler (or a metal bowl filled with water with another empty bowl over the top, since that's what a double boiler freaking is), get the water boiling, and whisk all the ingredients in the top bowl.

Pictured: not mayonnaise
  • Pictured: not mayonnaise

Keep it cooking for 15 minutes and stir occasionally until it gets thick, like a mayonnaise consistency (don't worry, it tastes nothing like mayonnaise - that would be gross).

After that, take the boiler off heat, put the lemon curd in a jar, and let it cool off in the fridge until you're ready to use it in the cupcakes.

Next, the cupcakes.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.

Get another bowl and mix the yogurt, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice together.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, then add in the eggs one at a time. I don't know what happens if you add them both in at the same time, but I'm sure it's bad. Probably an explosion or something.

Add the lemon zest next.

Mix in the flour mixture and the lemon juice/yogurt stuff, alternating between the two, until they're all mixed in. Add in the poppy seeds too and give them a quick stir.

Put the batter in some cupcake tins and stick 'em in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Do the good ol' toothpick test if you're not sure.

After the cupcakes come out, let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move them over to a cooling rack and let them get to room temperature while you do up the frosting.

To do the frosting just throw the blueberries in a blender and blend until they turn into a fine powder. Or a wad of blueberry mush if you couldn't find the freeze-dried kind. Either one will work, don't freak out about it.

Throw your cream cheese and butter into a stand mixer and cream them together until they're smooth.

Add the blueberries and powdered sugar, mix on slow, and keep going until it's frosting.

Mmm...innards.
  • Mmm...innards.

Once the cupcakes are totally cool, scoop out one teaspoon of cupcake innards from each of the cupcakes and fill the holes with lemon curd.

Frost the cupcakes, sit back and admire your work ... and eat.

Swirl some beats on those cupcakes too. This week's come from the little known Harvey Danger, with Little Round Mirrors:

Don't misconstrue what I said up there, people. I'm not saying food is the best thing in the world (it's damned close though). All I'm saying is that there's a space in your heart that only the perfect food can fill. There's an empty part that's only satisfied when it's filled with melted cheese or chocolate or ice cream, and you know it.

See you next time.

Source: This website.

When Scott Greenberg isn't baking - which is pretty much never - he likes to obsess over music, play Street Fighter and yell at kids to get off of his lawn. You can find more of his recipes at Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats.

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