On Monday I had the opportunity to bake alongside a professional baker. A real, owns-her-own-shop, specializes-in-sweets, baker. Tara, of Sweethaus in Charlottesville, invited me to be a guest baker in her kitchen this week. She likes to bring in members of the community on occasion, to share a favorite recipe of theirs with the patrons of her business. I jumped at the opportunity, as owning a bakery has been 2nd on my list of coolest-jobs-ever for quite some time. The first is photography. :)
I had such fun hanging out with Tara for the day, learning her story and methods. Her sweets have a very hand-made quality to them, simple yet elegant, never sacrificing taste for appearance. I am so grateful to have met her, and especially excited that her shop is walking distance from my office. I see many, many cupcakes in my future...
If you live in Charlottesville stop by Sweethaus to taste the special this weekend, Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes. They will be available Thursday-Sunday. And say hi to Tara, she's a doll.
I chose this recipe to share because, as you may already know, I LOVE lemon. And raspberries are pretty special too. This would make for a great Valentine's Day treat on Tuesday, in case you're looking for something sweet for your sweetie.
The lemon cupcake is based off a chiffon cake recipe, so the crumb is very light and spongey. And the frosting, raspberry cream cheese, is divine. Enough said. :)
Rasberry Lemonade Cupcakes
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 fresh lemon, seeds discarded
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350º. Line 1 standard muffin tin with 12 liners, and another with 6 liners.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, butter, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt to blend. Add 3 tbsp of lemon zest and blend with your fingers to separate clumps. Add the egg yolk mixture and stir until well combined. Set aside.
- In a clean dry bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Lower the mixer speed to medium and gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating the whites until they hold stiff peaks. Stir about one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold the remaining whites into the batter, in two batches, to blend thoroughly.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, filling each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Set the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Gently squeeze the lemon over the cupcakes to sprinkle a bit of the juice on each one. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on wire racks.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 16oz cream cheese, cold
- 1/4 cup raspberry puree
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the raspberry puree, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until the frosting is fluffy and lighter in color, tasting after 3 cups to see if you need more.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries or candied lemon peel.