Friday, November 25, 2011

Home cookin': Lemon Cupcakes

One for my Taiwanese friends has been wanting for me to cook with her for a while. I was busy all last week, so I wasn't able to get around to it. She attempted to make some lemon cupcakes but they turned out bland. So later into the early evening, we went shopping for some butter. That was the last of the ingredients. Most of the ingredients were pretty common and she already had them at her home. However I did buy some pure lemon juice earlier in Tianmu Sogo. It's the only place I know of that has it. Other wise it's just limes. Taiwan only has these smaller green colored "lemons". And I put that in quotes because although they call it lemons in Chinese, they look like and taste like limes. And they only sell it as a fresh produce, not bottled. I prefer bottled because it lasts longer and is easier to use. I can always count on the Tianmu Sogo for my western ingredient depot. After churning out some dough and cooking them in the oven, I decided to add one more element. Some lemon custard! Just eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in a pot stirring constantly over a double pot boiler (similar to melting chocolate). They turned out awesome! Warm and soft, with a good amount of lemon flavor. I used a lot of lemon zest in it, so each cupcake had bits of zest in it, sort of like flavor crystals. After the cup cakes cooled, I poked a hole on top and injected the lemon custard. The custard has a strong but silky smooth lemon flavor. And to finish it off, some powdered sugar. Looking at my photos though, the presentation is a bit ugly. But I just didn't feel like going to extra mile to make some light whip cream on top with a lemon or cranberry candy topper. That was the original idea, but I don't have a electric or manual hand mixer. This was all done by hand. If i had to bake on a daily basis without the help of an electric hand mixer, i'd have the arms of Popeye. However I may try this again to share with my girlfriend's coworkers. Eat with your eyes, enjoy the photo!

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