Sunday, April 4, 2010

Key Lime Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue and Candied Lime Slices

These were made for  twice-delayed St. Patrick's Day Potluck at work. AND THEY WERE TO DIE FOR. Seriously. The recipe was super easy. The hardest part was the meringue, as it was my first time making it without the help of my Gram, and I had to torch it with a long lighter since I had no kitchen torch. It was absolutely sublime. The only drawback to these cupcakes was that everyone at work thought that the candied lime slices on top were pickle slices. I got so frustrated by the end of the day that I told them all I was bringing pickle cupcakes next time. 

More pictures!

Fresh from the oven. One thing about this recipe - the cake turns out so moist it won't stick to the wrapper. Which is good for when you're eating them, but hell for getting them out of the tin to cool and decorate. 

Green batter. I added more green and yellow food coloring, but I think it still could have used more. 

Genuine key lime juice is a must, especially if you don't feel like juicing a bunch of key limes to get what you need. 

Speaking of key limes, here are the pre-candied slices. Totally do not look like pickles at all. 

And after being candied. They lose a lot of pigment in the process. 

Key Lime Cupcakes
  • 1 (18.25 oz) pkg lemon cake mix
  • 1 1/3 c. oil (I used a soybean/sunflower mix)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg lime flavored gelatin mix
  • 3/4 c. key lime juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. butter flavoring
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or whatever temperature is on your cake mix box). Combine all ingredients. Pour into prepared (lined or greased) muffin tin. Bake according to instructions on cake mix box (my oven bakes one 12-cup tin in about 9 minutes. I just take them out as soon as I can smell them because my oven is finicky.)

Swiss Meringue
  • 1 c. egg whites
  • 2 c. sugar
  • pinch salt
Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Rest the bowl over a pot of boiling water to form a double boiler. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the sugar is off the sides of the bowl. Continue to stir the mixture until all the sugar is melted into the eggs and you no longer feel any graininess when rubbed between your fingers, about 3-5 minutes. Place the bowl onto your mixer and whisk on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bowl is just warmer than room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Candied Lime Slices
  • 6 key limes
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 c. water
Slice limes into thin rounds, blanch in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. In the same pot, combine water and 1 c. sugar. Bring to a simmer and add lime slices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, till white pith of limes looks translucent. Drain and spread out on cooling rack to dry for at least an hour (I left mine overnight). Put 2 tbsp sugar in shallow bowl or saucer. When limes are dry, coat both side of lime slices by pressing them into the sugar.

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