The tang of lovely, sharp lemon curd. Thickly spread on fresh bread, in a swiss roll or as a filling for cake. Mmmm. DELICIOUS.
Lemon curd is one of my Dad's very favourite things. I made him some and sent it to Scotland with a great big jar of homemade pickled eggs in time for Fathers Day. With the rest of the lemon curd, I made some lovely lemon curd filled cupcakes, with a lemon buttercream and topped them with some pretty patterned white chocolate discs.
The lemon curd came first. It's simple to make.
LEMON CURD RECIPE (makes two jars)
3 eggs + 2 yolks
100g melted butter
250ml lemon juice (or 150ml lemon and 100ml lime)
zest 3 lemons
The lemons I bought looked sublime, but infact were very disappointing.... Loads of peel and very little juice.I used 5 lemons and still had to top up with 100ml of lime juice on this occasion as I ran out of lemons !
First of all, melt the butter and them add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar in a pan, then whisk in the butter and lemon mix.
Stir continuously over a low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Put into sterilised jars and seal.
This lemon curd recipe does not need a double boiler. Keep a sink full of cold water nearby. If it looks like it might split, plunge the pan bottom into the water and then whisk like fury. I've never had it split yet...(though I've water dunked it once or twice before).
I used the same vanilla cupcake recipe as I did here in February (see Valentines Cupcakes - February)
Once cooled. I cut out a circle from the centre and filled the hole in the cake with some of the lemon curd. I kept the top of the piece removed and placed it back on top as a plug.
For the lemon buttercream, I used 4 cups of icing sugar (sifted), 155g salted butter (softtened). Instead of adding the normal 1/4 cup of milk - I put 2 x tablespoons of lemon curd into the 1/4 cup measure and topped it up with lemon juice. Whip it up by hand or in a stand mixer until pale coloured, light and fluffy. I normally make buttercream in my mixer and beat for about 5 minutes.
This made a really nice, fresh tasting lemony buttercream.
I'd been desperate to play with chocolate transfers for some time - and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The transfer sheets had been sitting in my kitchen waiting around for quite long enough !
Basically, what you do is take your transfer sheets and cut them up as required. I cut mine into strips.
Place them with the rough side up (plastic face down) on to a chopping board or similar. An over turned baking tray would work fine too.
Melt the chocolate in a melting pot or in a double boiler (glass bowl over a pot of simmering water) until just melted. Allow to cool and stir in some more solid chocolate until no more will melt to temper it. After doing so, spread it over your chocolate transfer sheets.
I used a WEDGE HEAD SPATULA for spreading. I love that thing. It makes spreading chocolate, ganache and icings on the top of cakes and flat surfaces sooo easy !
Leave until semi set and then mark your shapes with a cookie cutter. Leave to fully harden (I shoved them in the fridge) before removing the backing paper.
Note - I find it much easier to temper bitter (plain) chocolate or milk chocolate. Get your chocolate too hot and you get white marks where the cocoa separates or not hot enough and it crystallises. I wrecked my first lot due to crystallisation !
The cakes would not have survived transit to Scotland - but they were polished off by work colleagues and the next door neighbours in no time at all. I can honestly say these were some of the best cupcakes I've ever eaten.
The last one got eaten by the postman who collects our big wire crates of mail at night. It was the eve of his retirement. We were sad to see him go and wish him lots of luck and happiness.
Not forgetting Oliver - he does love licking the beaters from the icing bowl !
This picture was from a day trip to Bressingham Steam Museum that Oliver and I took a couple of weeks ago (day or two after I made the cakes). It was a dismal and wet day, but Oliver enjoyed riding the rails on the narrow-gauge steam trains and the Gallopers carousel. That's my handbag behind him (after I got off) - he was sat on a double horse as he's too little to ride it on his own yet.
Hope you all enjoy the weekend x
Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - silicone bakeware specialist cook shop