I think cupcakes are always a good idea and when I had friends coming for lunch today, even better. I love the concept of filling the center of the cupcakes; something that had never occurred to anyone, other than Hostess Cupcakes, when I was growing up. We had chocolate or vanilla cupcakes with usually an American buttercream icing. When I went to the CIA, I discovered Swiss and Italian buttercream and knew my baking would change. I know my mother would have loved these and the raspberry mascarpone filling even more.
Lemon~Raspberry Mascarpone Cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
3/4 cup lemon bits
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat to combine. Add the extracts and zest and mix on medium speed to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between.
Add the dry ingredients, alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and stir in the lemon bits.
Divide the batter among the 12 cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean and the cupcakes are a golden brown.
Cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then, transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Raspberry Mascarpone Filling
1 pint of fresh raspberries
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T granulated sugar
Wash raspberries and drain on a paper towels. Rough chop the raspberries and sprinkle with the sugar and lemon juice. Add the mascapone cheese and stir to combine.
Use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake. Fill a pastry bag with the raspberry filling and pipe into the cavity.
Lemon Swiss Buttercream
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. lemon extract
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened to room temperature.
3-4 drops of Yellow Food dye
Lemon Candy Slice
In a heat-proof bowl, over a sauce pan with 2 inches of water heated to a gentle boil, whisk the egg whites and sugar. Continue to whisk, until the temperature reaches 140F-degrees. Remove from the heat and place on the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until a glossy meringue stage. Lower the speed to medium/high and slowly add the cubes butter. Don't be concerned if the meringue looks curdled because it changes in an instant! Once all the butter is incorporated, add the extract, and beat on high once more.
Use a #804 tip (or your choice) and pipe the Swiss buttercream on top of the cupcakes. Add a lemon candy slice as a garnish.
Baking is definitely a sweeter part of my life and I'm happy to share it with all of you. Enjoy!