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Passion Fruit Meringue Cupcakes

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An updated cupcake version of a classic lemon meringue pie, these delicate individual sponges are a definite crowd pleaser. All you need is patience and a tiered cake stand to create an afternoon tea treat no-one will forget.

Kcal: 288 per cupcake

Saturated fat: 8.4g

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 90 minutes (plus 4 hours’ cooling time)

Ingredients (makes 12):

For the passion fruit curd:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100ml passion fruit juice (from 6 fruits, pressed and sieved)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 125g butter, cubed

Cupcake mixture:

  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 150g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest ½ lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 75ml plain yoghurt

Meringue topping:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 180g caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Step 1: To make the passion fruit curd, mix the whole eggs and egg yolk together in a heatproof bowl.

Step 2: Bring the passion fruit juice and sugar to the boil and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly pour the hot fruit syrup into the eggs stirring briskly and constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Put the bowl in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring gently. Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter a few pieces at time and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the almonds. In a separate bowl beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the lemon zest and the eggs one at a time, beating after each one.

Step 4: Add the dry ingredients and the yoghurt to the butter and sugar mix and beat slowly until combined. Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Step 5: For the topping, mix the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in a saucepan of boiling water. Heat and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and a sugar thermometer in the mixture reads 60˚C.

Step 6: Remove from the heat and whisk with an electric hand mixer on a low speed, gradually increasing to high speed. When stiff peaks have formed, whisk in the vanilla. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until firm enough to pipe.

Step 7: When the cupcakes are cold, make a hole in the middle of each one and fill with a spoonful of curd. Spread the meringue over using a spatula or piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Hold a kitchen blowtorch 10cm away from the meringue and scorch evenly. Serve.

From Making Cupcakes With Lola by Victoria Jossel and Romy Lewis (£16.99, Ryland Peters & Small)

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