Cupcakes, the only people that don’t like cupcakes are the soulless monsters that live in the shadows of Rachel Ray’s imagination. These precious delights can be easily overdone with the offerrings in most super markets and local specialty stores. The fine line between comfort treat that your mom or grandmother made and the specialty gourmet sugar shops is starting to blur. But I always think that something that is made for you specifically is always more delicious than what is made to impress the public.
A co-worker of mine whipped me up a batch of these little darlings in appreciation for some health equipment that I gave her. I wish I had something to give her every week because it would be awesome to have a steady stream of these frosted snacks. She asked me to giv her my honest opinion of their flavor and this is my attempt and doing so.
The Cake, easily one of the things that I like the most (yes more than frosting) is cake. Too sweet and it’s disgusting, too bland or firm and it starts to feel like your chewing through a dish towel. These were vanilla cakes, a flavor you don’t see often as chocolate is usually the default, delicate and fluffy and just barely sweet at all, it acted as the perfect delivery system for what was inside.
Hollowed out in the center top of these cakes was Lemon Curd, which mainly consists of eggs, sugar and lemon juice plus zest over a double boiler till firm then chilled. This was a surprise for me also as I have never had a filled cupcake. It was really a great contrast as the sour punch and creamy texture against the dryer cake and sweet frosting. Without this layer the cupcake would have definitely been more of on the run of the mill side.
The frosting, topped with a fresh raspberry, was of the vanilla bean variety and it really held that amazing shape. After being removed from the refrigerator and allowed to reach room temperature, the frosting softens just enough to become a lightly firm cream, liquifying itself as it meets the warm air in your mouth. Your palette becomes consumed with the one-two punch of lemon and vanilla as the cream, curd and cake begin their delicious dance all around your mouth.
If I was to make one criticism, one mind you, I would say that the sugar in the frosting could have been reduced. I like sweets but recently my sugar intake has been cut down substantially and so, when I eat something that has more sugar than I am used to it becomes really pronounced. This is of course a personal preference and not a mandate.
I would put these cupcakes in a category above the usual fair and definitely more appealing than anything the local gourmet snack shops can offer. They have the advantage of being made from scratch with care and attention and for that they deserve a place of honor, in my fridge.
Z – the cake eater