Lemon and Blueberry Meringue Cupcakes

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The Hummingbird Bakery has, deservedly so, one of the best reputations for cake making in this country and across the world. The Hummingbird Bakery first opened its doors in Notting Hill in early 2004 to become the home of quality American baking in London. Today it has six branches across the city and is renowned the world over for its delicious cupcakes pastries and desserts.
The bakery for all its fame and popularity does not keep its recipes a closely guarded secret. Many of their recipes can be found in their best selling books. It has to be said however, their cakes and pastries are not for the calorie conscious ….but they can be enjoyed on special occasions.
Whenever I make one of their cupcake recipes I invariably freeze the undecorated cakes and decorate only the number we intend to eat. The reason for this….their recipes are just so moreish it’s very difficult to stop at just eating one cake.
Today I had some lemon curd to use up. It’s pouring of rain outside and the family was in need of some comfort food. I decided to make the Hummingbird Lemon meringue cupcake. I also had some blueberries in the fridge so I thought I would incorporate them into the recipe.
Ingredients
Makes 12-15 cupcakes ( I made 12 in a muffin tin)
For the sponge
80g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
240mls milk

For the filling and frosting
( I only made half this amount to ice 6 cakes. I put the other 6 cakes into the freezer for another day. Oh do not fill the cakes if you are going to freeze them)
200g caster sugar
4 egg whites
70g lemon curd

50g blueberries

Muffin tin
Cooks blow torch (optional as you can use a grill)

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Method
Heat oven 190C Gas 5 and line muffin tin with muffin cases.
Beat together butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and lemon zest until ingredients resemble breadcrumbs.
Break eggs into a jug, add milk and whisk together. Pour three quarters of the milk and eggs into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour in remainder of the liquid and continue to mix until you have a smooth batter.
Spoon the batter into the paper cases until three quarters full.
Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Take out when ready and cool completely on a cooling rack before you fill and ice them.

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To make the frosting,put the sugar into a small saucepan and cover with water (about 150mls) and bring to the boil. Allow the sugar to boil for approximately 5-10minutes until it has reached the soft ball stage.

( to check for this stage. Drop a small amount of the syrup into some water if it is cooked correctly it will form a soft ball in the water. When removed from the water it should flatten in your hand)

While the sugar is boiling, whisk the egg whites until just foamy.

When sugar is ready pour it into the egg whites while still whisking on low speed ( be careful, because it will be extremely hot) increase the speed when all sugar has been added. Continue whisking until the underside of the bowl feels Luke warm. The meringue will have doubled in size and be white,smooth and shiny.

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Once the cakes have cooled, hollow out the middle of each cake with a sharp knife,keep the cut out bit of each sponge.( I used my little cut out gadget to do this) Using a teaspoon, fill the holes about half full with lemon curd, place a couple of blueberries into the cut out and replace the little piece of sponge.
Top the cakes with the prepared meringue and swirl. Use your blowtorch to slightly brown the tops of the meringue. Decorate with blueberries.

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