Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Key Lime Cupcakes

I'm a completely impulsive person. I rarely plan more than a few days ahead, especially when it comes to what's going on in the kitchen

Which is one of the reasons why this blog is awesome - you  have no idea what I'm going to be posting. Breakfast or drink, main dish or dessert. And quite honestly - I typically have no idea what I'll be posting either. 


So - while we were gallivanting around the local Latin American grocery store the other day, gathering ingredients for amazing tacos...I spotted a bag of limes.

Which proceeded to sit on my counter. 

And sit.

And sit. Until I decided that I needed to send cupcakes to work with Mr. S. I hadn't sent anything in for several weeks and was feeling a bit sheepish. Especially since a new guy started a few days ago. I like to cement my place as good-baker-wife as fast as possible. 

So, I created these cupcakes. They are really limey and not terribly sweet. Pretty fresh really.

And did I mention that they are filled with lime curd?

Topped with a whipped cream & sweetened condensed milk frosting?

Just try not to eat too many yourself before sending them into the office!

Start with the curd. Key lime juice, zest, sugar and eggs go into the top of a double boiler.

 Whisk frantically for 5 minutes or so until thick and registering around 160 degrees on your thermometer.

Stir in the butter. 

Strain through a fine mesh strainer (to get the weirdly yellow colored zest out and any odd bits of scrambled egg).

Cover with plastic and chill in the fridge.

Move on to the cake. Mix milk, egg whites, almond extract, and vanilla. You can use the measuring cup you used to measure the milk. Save the clean dishes!

Now to the dry goods: Flour, corn starch, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

Mix them together and then beat in the butter. It will look like wet sand with little clumps.

Beat in the key lime zest.

Pour in 3/4 of the liquid and beat it up for a full minute and a half.

Pour in the rest and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beat again for 30 seconds (whip those suckers fluffy!).

Divide into a lined cupcake tin. Don't cram all the dough in there, just over 2/3 of the way full is enough. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely. 
Core out the middles, 2/3 of the way down to the bottom.

Spoon in the chilled curd.

Top with a frosting of whipped cream, beaten with sweetened condensed milk.


I am the best office wife - hands down. 
(And I was informed that the boss ate 2 before 7:30 am. Triumph!)

Key Lime Cupcakes
Makes 12
Cake adapted from Beantown Baker
Curd adapted from She Makes And Bakes

For Cake:
1/2 c. milk + 1 tbsp milk
3 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c. flour
3 tbsp corn starch
3/4 c. + 1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp key lime zest
1 tbsp key lime juice

For Curd:
1/2 c. key lime juice (about 15 limes)
1 1/2 tbsp key lime zest
2 eggs
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
3-4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

To make the curd, put the lime juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in the top pan of a double boiler (a pot over a pot of boiling water). Whisk frantically for about 5 minutes, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat. Toss in the butter and whisk until melted. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Cover curd with plastic wrap, right on top of the curd, and refrigerate.

To make the cake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the milk, egg whites, almond extract, and vanilla. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Beat the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small pebbles. Beat in the lime zest. Beat in 3/4 of the liquid mixture, and continue to beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining liquid mixture and the lime juice and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beat for another 20 seconds. Dish out into your lined cupcake tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. 

Core out the middle of the cupcakes, going 2/3 of the way to the bottom. Fill with curd. 

To make the frosting, beat the whipped cream until soft peaks form. Gently drizzle in the sweetened condensed milk as you beat. Taste and add more if you'd like. 

Top cakes with frosting and zest a little more lime on top.

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