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Lemon curd (and other fillings)

Patty and I discovered lemon curd about two years ago, and we LOVE it. I’ve a marvelous lemon cake recipe that calls for a lemon filling, but that’s different. Lemon curd is just THAT tart enough to get your taste buds squeaked. When you swallow it, you wait. It’ll “get you” right in the back of your jaw, but it’s such a wonderful sensation that you will, at least 99.999% of the time, love it. It’s just that kind of flavor that wanders around in your senses for a few minutes before you realize that that’s what it was.

I’ve tried a couple different brands of lemon curd, one at Winco food store and one or two at World Market/Cost Plus. We like the Cost Plus one better; it just has a better texture and taste. I find texture to be very important because when you are adding the curd to either a cupcake or a cake, the question is how it reacts to the cake itself.

We went to a local British shop, Touch of Britain in North Highlands, CA, and the woman we spoke to was a riot. She has a VERY strong British accent, and when I asked if they had orange curd, it definitely threw her for a loop. “Well, I’ve never HEARD of orange curd, and I’m British, so I should know!” But she was very sweet, and we had a great experience talking to her.

I think I’ll try making orange curd. Any suggestions?

Oh, the other fillings will be in another post.Image

Buttercream

Buttercream is an interesting mixture. I’ve got a terrific recipe from Wilton that I’ve tweaked a little to make it more appealing. I so remember the first batch I made; it was horribly SWEET, because, ok, I’d doubled the vanilla extract. (Hey, I like vanilla, all right?) But it was just awful, and I ended up pitching it. That was when we were taking our first Wilton cake class at the local JoAnn Fabric store in Citrus Heights.

So now, I’ve got it down to a science and can almost make it from memory. You have to be careful and watch it while it’s in the mixing bowl (Thank HEAVENS for our wonderful Cuisinart stand mixer!) so you know just when to add the next ingredient. Like I said, my most recent frosting was orange-flavored, and it really made the chocolate cupcake taste stand out very nicely.

I think my second favorite would have to be lemon. Odd, though. I grew up never really caring for lemon, as it always reminded me of lemon Pledge, and the only “lemonade” I liked was the Kool-Aid brand. I’ve got a recipe for lemon cupcakes that our friend Drea refers to as “lemon clouds”, as the mini-cupcakes are as light as a cloud and just melt in your mouth.

Cupcakes again!

I’ve been doing a lot of cupcake making lately. Wednesday night, I made orange cupcakes for my supervisor, Wendy’s, birthday at work, and instead of using my regular buttercream recipe with vanilla extract, I used orange. OOH, were they good! They went over like hotcakes, and I had some icing left over, so I used it for the triple chocolate ones I made for my wife’s birthday. The chocolate alongside of the orange is a wonderful mixture and leaves just the smallest hint of flavor rolling aroundparfaits on your tongue, hoping for more.

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