Lemon meringue cupcakes

by Eric Lanlard

These cupcakes will be sure to spread a little happiness with their oozy curd centre and soft meringue topping.

Makes: 12 muffins

Preparation: time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15–20 minutes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

100g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened

100g (3oz) golden caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split

2 eggs

100g (3oz) self-raising flour, sifted

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

75g (2oz) ready-made or home-made lemon curd

For the meringue:

2 egg whites

100g (3oz) caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180¨C (fan 160¨C)/350®¨F/gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.

For the cupcakes, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together in a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand whisk, until pale, fluffy and well combined.

Crack in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until both are fully incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the sifted flour and lemon zest until well combined.

Spoon the cupcake batter into the cupcake papers. Add 1 tsp of lemon curd to the top of each cupcake.

Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are pale golden-brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.

Meanwhile, for the meringue, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Gradually add the sugar, whisking continuously, until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. The mixture should be thick and glossy.

When the cakes are cooked, turn off the oven and preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Spoon the meringue into a piping bag with a small plain tube and pipe some in a spiral on top of each cupcake. Place the cupcakes under the hot grill 2 minutes to colour (or you can use a kitchen blowtorch to toast the meringue).

Recipes in support of Bowel Cancer UK’s ‘Be a Star, Bake a Cake’ campaign’

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