Ever since I went to brunch with two little cutie boys who craved the muffins offered at the buffet (muffins which I couldn't eat because they were made with wheat flour), I've been on the quest for the perfect gluten-free lemon muffin.
It's Kismet, isn't it, when a recipe you've been craving appears in a foodie magazine that shows up on your doorstep the very next day?
My husband, another cutie, is a Food Network junkie. He doesn't cook. He salivates. So he ordered the Food Network Magazine for the house. I've got to say, there are tons of good recipes, well laid out, many with gorgeous pictures. How can I resist thumbing through it? I don't have anything better to do, do I? (Ahem, yes, write...)
Anyway, I found this delicious recipe. It has three total steps. I only did two and was really satisfied! I'll include the third step if you are extremely industrious. [I've had a few too many kitchen disasters to ruin what was already perfect after the second step.]
I have to admit, I was a little leery about the amount of oil included in the recipe. It just didn't measure up to other recipes I've made. Proportions matter in chemistry. But these are the most moist cupcakes I've ever made gluten-free, and they have lasted a week without drying out. I know, how could they last a week if they're that good? Well, my sweet hubby is on a no-carb diet (bad me for filling the house with delicious aromas), and I'm pretty good at limiting myself to one a day.
Enjoy! And for those celebrating the season, Happy Easter. May the light shine!!!
LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKES
TWEAKED FROM FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE, APRIL 2014
The batch made 12 cupcakes PLUS 6 minis.
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
¾ cup vegetable oil
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups GF flour (I used Sweet Rice/Tapioca)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking poder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
For the meringue:
2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze: (optional)
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon-flavored liqueur (optional)
6-7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. (My batch made 12 plus 6 mini muffins) Whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.
Whisk the GF flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix on medium high. Don’t over mix.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them to just below the rim. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes (depending on your oven). Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
|The minis came out a perfect golden.|
|I might have cooked the larger 1 minute too long. It made them browner, but the same consistency and taste.|
Don’t start making the meringue until the cupcakes are out of the oven. Beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and add in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Beat until shiny peeks form, about 3 minutes.
Combine the rest of the sugar (6 tablespoons), the corn syrup and ¼ cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture registers 245 degrees on a candy thermometer. Do NOT over cook!! About 6 minutes.
Remove from heat. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites; increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue is fluffy and cool, about 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. [I didn’t have one; I used a spoon.] Pipe the mixture onto the cooled cupcakes; set aside at room temperature to firm up, about 15 minutes.
I DID NOT DO THE REST OF THE RECIPE, but here are the instructions. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, limoncello and food coloring in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Microwave the mixture 1 minute, then whisk again until the sugar dissolves; let cool about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dip the meringue-covered tops of the cupcakes into the glaze [MY FEAR WAS THE MERINGUE WOULD SLIDE RIGHT OFF; I WAS CHICKEN.] Let any excess drip off [sort of like you would dipping an ice cream into chocolate]. If the glaze gets too thick, microwave 20 seconds.
The magazine’s cupcakes were much, much prettier than mine. I can't show you (for copyright reasons) but trust me. The cupcakes rose above the edges of the paper cups, like they were supposed to. Let’s hear it for professional bakers…not to mention, gluten-free just doesn’t rise the same way as regular flour. At least not for me. Sigh.
But, boy, was this batch ever tasty!!!
***If you wish to make these with regular flour, simply swap out the flour and OMIT the xanthan gum! All the rest of the steps are the same.
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