or: This post may or may not need a more reverential tone from me
During the Queen’s jubilee (not sure jubilee is capitalised but in case it is, Jubilee – also, can I say ‘Queen’?), I decided to break my non-baking-so-often rule. I had already broken it a few weeks before for my birthday, but it felt like an important enough occasion, not to mention a good opportunity to eat cake and really, I don’t need much more than that to start breaking rules.
I wanted to make something inherently British. I’m not British, but I have a palate for the cooking and baking here. I think it’s delicious and actually wouldn’t mind eating much much more of it but alas, not possible if I want to stop expanding.
I thought about something red and blue and white, but I really felt like using lemons. So out went the red and blue (and white – sorry flag), and in came a sunny yellow – to contrast with the weather during the rainy jubilee (Jubilee). I don’t think the Queen (HRH) would disapprove.
I decided to go with cupcakes. I should explain that I am no fan of cupcakes. I can’t pinpoint what it is I don’t particularly like – I think it’s the concept: the idea of a small cake with a very high ratio of frosting to cake, that’s supposed to be dainty and cute. It just doesn’t appeal to me. Whenever I have eaten a cupcake (and granted, there haven’t been many occasions, maybe once or twice), I’ve always thought ‘I should have gone for cake instead’. Always a disappointing experience. Sorry cupcakes.
Nevertheless I made lemon cupcakes with lemon curd – don’t ask me why. Since this was a British celebration, I actually baked lovely dainty fairy cakes, in gingham linings.
Oh btw, you will have to imagine all of the above as I have no pictures. The cakes were a Mary Berry recipe; I love you Mary, (Mrs. Berry?) but they were plain. But hey, I think that was her intention so well done Mrs. B.
I also made lemon curd, and used a recipe by this French guy who makes desserts. His name is Eric Lanlard and he has had a couple of shows on Channel 4. Maybe he’s quite famous, no idea. He says he makes cakes for Elizabeth Hurley and Madonna, but do they even eat cake? ANYWAY, Eric Lanlard has an amazing recipe for lemon curd in his Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.
Maybe I should have made his whole recipe. Maybe. As it turns out, my blowtorch that I got about, hmm, 2 years ago? still cannot be used because I’m too lazy to buy whatever fuels it. Also, I was in no mood for italian meringue – too much hassle when you don’t have a stand mixer.
So I made dainty fairy cakes, cut the tops off and filled them with lemon curd. The lemon curd was awesome – really tart, but what else would you expect? I’ve since been spreading it on slices of bread (maybe eating it out of a spoon too) and thinking of what else I can do with it.
The reason I like the recipe isn’t just that though. Eric (Mr. Lanlard?) uses a double boiler method BUT BUT stay with me, he adds the butter to the mixture at the beginning. Yes friends this is a brilliant revelation for me as I always thought I’d have to 1) wait for the thing to cool, 2) add room temperature butter, which is boooring. When I make lemon curd I want to be able to use it (or eat it by the spoonful, who knows) as quickly as possible. SO this may just be my go-to recipe from now on.
Maybe my epiphany is a well-known thing to others, but I thought I’d share nonetheless.
You can find the recipe in the 4Food website (and I’d advise you to have a browse because they have some really nice recipes) and see the episode in which he makes it (if you’re in the UK) by clicking the following links:
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes – by Eric Lanlard
Baking Mad – Episode 1 – 4oD
Let me know if you try this – hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.