> Lemon and Strawberries: Two years in Greece - let's celebrate! Lemon cupcakes with light buttercream.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Two years in Greece - let's celebrate! Lemon cupcakes with light buttercream.


They say that "happy people don't count the time" and it must be true, since my second year in Greece passed so fast I didn't even notice until I've looked at the date in calendar.
Looking back I see how living in this beautiful country has influenced me. Coming from a big city in Poland, in the beginning I had problems adjusting to "slower" life - here nobody rushes in the streets, there is time for everything, no need to run.
People in Greece know how to enjoy little pleasures like coffee with friends despite hard times their country is facing now with crisis. I've learned to appreciate it, it's really a gift to be able to smile no matter what and to never give up. Greeks are also the most friendly people I ever met - they always greet you, chat with you and help you when you need it - as a foreigner I didn't expect it!
With this recipe I invite you to celebrate my 2nd anniversary in Greece with me! Delicious and light lemon cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream will make you look at the bright side of life, just like Greece made me!

INGREDIENTS (for 12 cupcakes): 
  • 2 glass sieved flour
  • 3/4 glass sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 glass milk
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
Preheat your stove to 180°C (360°F). Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In separate bowl put all of the "wet" ingredients: eggs, milk, lemon juice, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix using a whisk and when everything is well combined, pour mixture into a bowl with "dry" ingredients. Mix using mixer on medium speed until you get smooth batter.
Fill cupcake molds up to 2/3 height.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden-brown on top. You can check if they're ready by sticking a toothpick inside of a cupcake - if it comes out dry, they're baked.
Set cupcakes aside to completely cool down before you'll start decorating them with cream.


Now, let's prepare the swiss meringue buttercream.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 230g unsalted butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 glass sugar
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • lemon aroma (or any other of your choice)
Prepare a water bath for your cream - you'll need a pot with some water. Your pot must be big enough to place a bowl inside, but not to let it touch the bottom. Put it on medium heat on your stove. Put egg whites in a mixing bowl, add salt and sugar and place it on top of your pot with hot water. While still heating it up, stir the mixture with a whisk or a fork until sugar is melted completely - it takes about 4 minutes. It's best to check it by rubbing a little bit of mixture between your fingers - you shouldn't feel any grains of sugar.
Next, start mixing egg whites and sugar mixture on high speed using a whisk tip until it's very thick, fluffy and completely cold. It will take about 10 minutes (and that's why I recommend using a mixer - it can get really tiring otherwise).


When it's ready (1), change tip to mixing one and start mixing it on medium speed. Start adding little cubes of butter, one by one.
At some point the whole mixture will look like something went very wrong - curdled, too thin and just "not right" (2). Don't worry - this is how it should be and you're minutes away from perfection! Continue mixing until everything combines again and thickens. In the end add few drops of lemon aroma. Ready cream is fluffy, light and makes characteristic "clicking" sound while mixed (3).

This buttercream is lighter and not so sweet compared to frosting made with butter and powder sugar, but will hold shape very well. It was the first time I tried swiss meringue buttercream and I'm totally in love with it - it's smooth, fluffy and silky, yet stiff enough to make any type of decoration you want. It's much easier to work with this cream than with traditional frosting - at least for me.

When your cupcakes are completely cold, it's time to decorate! I've used open star tip to make swirls on some of them, others I just covered with cream and then dipped in sprinkles. It's completely up to you, have fun and I'm sure they will be the most beautiful cupcakes!


Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. Gratulacje wspaniałego czasu :) Fajne te babeczki :) Smakowite :)

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    1. Dziękuję, przeprowadzka do Grecji była jedną z lepszych decyzji w moim życiu, więc rocznica zasługiwała na babeczki! :D

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