Monday, April 10, 2017

Baked Raspberry Lemonade

I had the opportunity to make cupcakes for a friend's birthday recently and decided to experiment a little with a cupcake creation. It turned out amazing, and as far as I know (I confess I haven't scoured the web to see if an identical recipe exists), this is an original recipe. I modified my favorite yellow cake recipe into lemon cupcakes, with a fresh raspberry filling and a lemon buttercream frosting.
These are a little bit of work, but they are really delicious and anything but dry and boring. They taste like a little bit of summer in your dessert!
One of the things I hate most on recipe blogs is having to scroll WAY down to the bottom to find the recipe, so let's just dive right in! (Photos at the bottom.)

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes - makes 12
Preheat oven to 350*
Cake:
1/2 c coconut oil (melted)
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs (separated)
zest of one large lemon
juice of half lemon
1/4 t salt
3/4 t baking powder
1-1/2 c flour
1/2 c buttermilk

Instructions:
1. In a stand mixer, cream coconut oil and sugar until well combined and a little fluffy.
2. Add vanilla, both egg yolks, zest of lemon, juice of lemon and mix to combine.
3. Add salt, baking powder, half of flour, and mix until just combined.
4. Add half of milk, mix until just combine.
5. Add second half of flour, mix until just combined.
6. Add second half of milk, mix until just combined.
7. Add egg whites and gently fold until just combined.
8. Scoop into 12 muffin tins with liners - spread batter evenly between cups, should be filled a little past half-way point.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cupcake comes out clean. I like to really baby them those last couple of minutes in the oven to make sure they don't get dry.
10. Let cool on wire rack while making filling and frosting.

Raspberry filling:
1 6oz package of fresh raspberries, cleaned
juice of half lemon
1/4-1/2 c sugar, depending on how sweet you want it - I like it more tart
1/4 c cold water
1 T corn starch
1/4 c heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

1. In a small saucepan on the stove, add raspberries, lemon juice, sugar. Bring to a gentle boil and stir occasionally until the raspberries have dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken a bit.
2. Pour mixture through a strainer to remove most of the seeds (I like a few seeds in the final mix, because it feels more authentically raspberry, but I add back in maybe a teaspoon full). Place mixture back into saucepan and back on stove, back onto about medium heat.
3. Mix cold water with corn starch. Add mixture to saucepan and whisk until thoroughly combined - this might take some vigorous mixing to make sure the cornstarch doesn't clump. Boil until mixture becomes thick, remove from heat. Cool until about room temperature.
4. Add heavy cream to mixture, and beat using an immersion blender to whip the cream a bit, until well combined and a little thicker.

Frosting:
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter
zest of one lemon (If you don't want really lemony frosting, omit the zest for a more delicate flavor)
juice of half lemon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
Remaining raspberry filling (I had about a teaspoon left after filling cupcakes)

Instructions:
1. In stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine remaining raspberry filling, powdered sugar, butter. (The little bit of raspberry filling will give the frosting a nice, delicate pale pink color to the frosting.)
2. Add zest, lemon juice, vanilla, combine again.
3. Add heavy cream and whip on high until frosting gets nice and fluffy. (If it appears to curdle slightly, just whip it a little longer. Chances are pretty good it will actually be pretty smooth when spread with a knife or spatula.)

Assembly:
1. Cut a cone-shaped chunk out of the top of each cupcake (see photo below), then gently cut the point off.
2. Scoop raspberry filling into hole, filling almost to the top, and replace the top of the cupcake (again, as shown). You don't want the filling to ooze out of the top.
3. Pipe frosting however you desire. Top with fresh raspberry! (I was testing out a new tip and I definitely need more practice with it.)


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