Rhubarb & Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes
These Rhubarb and Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes are a delicious and pretty twist on Lemon Meringue cupcakes. The slightly sharp curd filling contrasts beautifully with the sweet marshmallowy Italian meringue.
Servings: 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 200 g (7oz) butter softened
- 200 g (7oz) golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 medium eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp milk
- 200 g (7oz) self-raising flour
For the rhubarb and strawberry curd
- 450 g (1lb) rhubarb 3 – 4 stems
- 225 g (8oz) fresh strawberries (8oz)
- 1 lemon juice only
- 2 tbsp water
- 125 g (4oz) caster sugar
- 50 g (2oz) butter cubed
- 3 medium egg yolks
For the Italian meringue
- 3 medium egg whites
- 175 g (6oz) caster sugar
- 5 tbsp water
To make the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Place the muffin cases into the muffin tray.
Place200g (7oz) each butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until very pale and fluffy. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat again to combine. Gradually add 3 beaten egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2tbsp milk. Sieve 200g (7oz) flour into the mixture and gently fold in.
Fill the muffin cases half to two-thirds full with the cake mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 – 23 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the rhubarb and strawberry curd.
Wash 450g (1lb) rhubarb. Trim the ends of the stalk and discard. Cut the rhubarb stems into pieces about 2cm (1in) long. Wash and hull250g (9oz)strawberries. Cut in half. Place the rhubarb and strawberries into a heavy-based pan with the water and lemon juice. Cook the fruit until very soft, stirring frequently.
Strain the fruit through a sieve into a heat proof bowl. Press as much of the juice out of the fruit as possible, then discard the pulp.
Add 125g (4oz) sugar and 50g (2oz) cubed butter to the bowl and set the bowl over a pan of water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook over a medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Turn the heat down to its lowest setting. Add 3 egg yolks to the mixture. Stir continuously until the curd has thickened. This will take at least 15 minutes. You should be able to draw a line through the curd on the back of the spoon without the curd trickling back into the traced line. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool and thicken further.
To make the Italian Meringue.
Place 3 egg whites into a very clean bowl.
Place 175g (6oz) sugar and 5 tbsp water into a heavy based pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved . Increase the heat and boil the sugar syrup until it has reached 110℃ (230℉).
Whisk the egg whites until standing in stiff peaks. Continue heating the sugar syrup until the mixture reaches 121℃ ( 249℉) take the pan off the heat.
With the whisk on its lowest setting slowly pour the sugar syrup onto the whisked egg whites. AVOID POURING ONTO THE BEATERS AS THIS IS LIKELY TO CAUSE THE SYRUP TO SPLASH BACK AT YOU! Once all of the syrup has been poured onto the meringue increase the speed of the beaters and continue beating for at least 5 minutes until the temperature of the meringue has cooled and is very thick and glossy.
Using a small paring knife cut a plug of cake out from the top of each cupcake. Spoon 1 – 2 teaspoons of curd into the hollow, avoid over filling.
Fit the large star nozzle to the piping bag and spoon in the meringue. Pipe a generous swirl of meringue on top of the cupcakes.
Either use a blow torch to carefully colour the meringue. Alternatively, use the grill.
- When making the cupcake batter, consider weighing the eggs first to ensure the batter has equal weight of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Simply weigh the butter, sugar and flour to the same weight as the eggs. Of course, the value may be slightly different to the 200g listed in the ingredients above.
- Consider warming your lightly beaten eggs over a bain-marie especially if they feel particularly cold. Warm them until they feel lukewarm. This should help prevent the batter from curdling and produce a better cupcake sponge.
- The curd will cool faster in a large shallow bowl, like a pasta bowl.
- If using the grill, as we did, pre-heat it and position the grill pan in the centre of the oven so the cupcakes aren’t too near the grill element. Place the decorated cupcakes under the grill for 1 – 2 minutes allowing the Italian meringue to colour, you may need to rotate them after just a minute. They will colour very quickly.
- Any leftover curd can be covered and stored in the fridge It is delicious for spreading on toast or in a sandwich.
Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 430kcal