LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKE WITH RASPBERRY FILLING AND LEMON SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
Summer is almost here and all these great spring/summer flavors and colors are in the air! So much fun! Want to take all the fruits and make a fruit punch out of my cupcakes! Hey wait!...hmm?! Another idea!!! Is lemon a fruit or vegetable??? A vegetable, I think. I forget...
Anyway, what better way to introduce the summer than by making lemonade? With a lemon poppy seed cupcake filled with raspberry jam and topped with a light, velvety lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I say!!
For the cake:
You can use any vanilla cake you like. Just add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds. I used, again, my favorite WHITE WINE cake (see previous post for recipe).
One jar of a good raspberry jam. I used the French St. Dalfour Frambouises. It's very tangy. I like it.
LEMON SWISS MERINGUE BUTTER CREAM:
4 Egg whites
1 cup of sugar
250 grams of butter (softened)
1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3-4 tbsp. of lemon juice
yellow paste color
In a heat-proof metal mixer bowl put egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Place over another pot of simmering water and whisk until sugar dissolves and it's not grainy anymore. You can tell it's done when you pinch it and it's smooth between your fingers. It takes about 3-5 minutes.
Take bowl to mixer stand and beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until egg mixture is completely cooled and has a glossy white color (I keep touching the bowl to check temperature). Change to paddle attachment and beat on medium-high slowly adding the butter pieces. You will see it curdle at one point....don't stop or panic, keep going until you hear a flapping sound. This flapping sound means that the buttercream has reached that velvety texture we all love. You can stop here and add all the other ingredients but I like to let it go beating for another 5 minutes. This makes it fluffier and whiter. Then I add the flavors, beat for another minute until incorporated and then add color paste. Yummmm!
After cupcakes have cooled, make holes in the center of each one with a knife or with my favorite cupcake corer. Fill with Raspberry jam and frost with Swiss Meringue ButterCream (You can use a piping bag or a spatula). And you are done!!!