In a way, that's a shame because it's relatively easy to whip up a small batch of cupcakes thereby reducing the possibility that my boyfriend and I will eat ourselves into oblivion.
Although the cupcakes are good, the real star of the show was the white chocolate buttercream. Lemon and white chocolate is a combination that I just can't get enough of at the moment. In truth, I have a serious craving for all things citrus right now and there's something about the combination of the sharpness of the fruit and the creaminess of white chocolate that just makes me swoon.
There's also a sprinkling of candied lemon zest on top of these beauties. I think cupcakes always look prettier with a sprinkling of a little something on top. The zest also just brings all the flavours together and provides a little kick of sour to cut through the richness of the white chocolate. Although if, like me, you're perfectly happy to eat the buttercream from the bowl, that may not be such of an issue...
Lemon and white chocolate cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
For the cakes:
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 115g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 260g plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 250g plain yogurt
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Juice of 1 lemon
For the frosting:
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 150g white chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Zest of 1 lemon cut into strips
- 100g sugar
- 100ml water
- 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases.
- Cream the butter, add the sugar and eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add half of the dry ingredients, then the yogurt and then the rest of the flour with the lemon zest and juice. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
- To make the buttercream, melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside when melted to cool.
- Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add the icing sugar gradually, continuing to beat, until creamy. Add in the white chocolate, vanilla and salt and beat for 5-10 minutes until you have the desired consistency. if it is too wet, add some more icing sugar. If it is too dry, add the milk a little at a time. Refrigerate until needed.
- To make the candied lemon zest, use a zester to make little strips of zest. Put the zest in a small saucepan, add enough cold water to cover and bring to the boil. Discard the water and repeat two more times. When your zest has been blanched to within an inch of its life, heat the water and sugar in the pan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is syrupy (but now brown). Add the zest and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well and place to the side until needed.
- Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and sprinkle with lemon zest.