Sunshine Cupcakes

Why sunshine cupcakes, you ask? Why, just look at the colour! Such a sunny yellow. The colours make me oh-so happy! And the flavour? Sigh. It’s like sunlight playing on your taste buds – so light, airy and refreshing.This cake’s recipe is my mother’s. One day I woke up to the glorious smell of baking, only to discover that my super talented mum had baked these lovely cakes. I must tell you, mama is one of my baking role models. She’s responsible for my foray into patisserie. I grew up watching her bake. As a tiny little imp, I used to sit on the table and watch her decorate cakes. And even though I irritated her with my endless questions and attempts to eat batters and icings, she patiently tolerated me 🙂 And she always let me pipe the leftover royal icing onto waste paper, they were just unimportant squiggles, but they made a huge impact on my mind. Food, especially sweets are part of some of the best memories of my life. This post is a tribute to my mother. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration and for always being so supportive of me, even in my rebellious teenage days 😛 I love you , Ma.

Anyway, mama felt that these little cakes would be perfect with lemon curd, and that’s exactly what I did 🙂 The cake itself is so light that you can really eat 3-4 at one go! The silky smooth lemon curd gives a perfectly sweet tart balance to the cake, creating a perfect bite! I preferred these cakes to have only thin layer of icing, so that the cake wouldn’t be overpowered. P.s: I am not very happy with the photos, but the recipe was so good I  had to share!

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Let’s get baking!

The Vanilla Sponge:

I don’t have photos because as I already mentioned, these were already baking when I woke up. Trust me, nothing beats the feeling of waking up to the smell of baking! Okay, maybe waking up to the smell of bacon  😉

Makes: 2 1/2 dozen medium cupcakes, Duration: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

All purpose flour – 500 gms

Butter – 420 gms

Egg – 4

Milk – 50 ml

Lemon zest – 1 tbsp

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

Vanilla – 1 tbsp

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven at 180 c.

2. Cream butter and sugar together till light, pale and creamy.

3. Beat in one egg at a time. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla essence.

4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together TWICE. Yes, because this ensures a fine, perfect crumb texture in the cakes as the baking powder is evenly distributed.

5. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way, bake for 20-30 minutes, till the top is light golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Let cool.

Silky smooth lemon curd:

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I am in love with this recipe. I swear I am! I saw this technique here. This method is so much easier and faster than the traditional method. Right up my alley! I tweaked the ingredients to my taste. Considering I’m not a fan of lemony desserts, and I loved this, it is most definitely awesome. And the texture is so smooth!

Makes: About enough to cover 6 cupcakes (I only made so much, because at home, we don’t have many fans of frosting. I know :O)

Duration: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Butter – 50 gms

Sugar – 45gms

Yolks – 3

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 40ml

Method:

1. Cream butter and sugar till very smooth and light

P1070342butter: before & after

2. Beat in the yolks.

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3. Add the vanilla. Add lemon little by little, so that you can adjust the amount of tartness you require. 40 ml was enough for me.

4. Place the whole setup on a pot of simmering water (a.k.a a bain marie) and whisk till it thickens. The more you whisk, the more it thickens.So you can decide how thick you want it. Remember, it thickens on cooling too. Keep this in mind before you turn off the heat.

P1070354can you believe there is NO food colouring involved here?

5. Let cool slightly before icing the cakes.

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I garnished these bright cakes with magenta and orange rose petals. Why? Because I love these colours! They make me so happy. This palette of colours often finds its way in a lot of my work.

Make sure to wash the petals well.

P1070351oh happiness!

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Have a bite and drift off to a land of happy sunshine 🙂

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IMG_20140121_065954in the land of sunshine and cupcakes…

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