January 1, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
When I was little, (seems to be my opening line these days 😉 ) I used to ask, “What other flavors does lemon meringue pie come in?” I “thought” the question made perfect sense. (as did ALL the other questions my curious brain used to shell out on a regular basis.)
When I used to ask, “What’s the difference between a cupcake and a muffin and why do they call some trays cupcake trays (or tins) and others muffin trays (or mini muffin) trays? I used to get A LOT of adults who used to (I thought) take pleasure in “rolling their eyes” at my unending food questions.
So, WHAT is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? (Some questions never die lol) When I came across Cupcakes Vs. Muffins: An Epic Battle and Some Big Questions http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2008/6/1/cupcakes-vs-muffins-an-epic-battle-and-some-big-questions.html on Cakespy http://www.cakespy.com/ , I was “intrigued” with not only “the battle” but the outcome and conclusion. And think the information has now solved my childhood question of “What’s the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?”
We spend most of our lives, sleeping (dreaming about all things foods), eating (enjoying all things food), searching (for that next food recipe to make lol) and I “obviously” had an interest in food from the moment I “leapt and bound” into this world.
Contrary to popular belief, Henry Ford never said about his cars, “You can have them in any color, as long as it is black. Interestingly enough, the replies I used to receive was “You can have lemon meringue pies in any flavor as long as it is lemon meringue.” mmm Now THAT never made sense to me, even back when I was little. Why couldn’t my lemon meringue pie be cherry meringue or peach meringue? Even back then, mandarin had always seemed “exotic” to me! 😉
I used to mentally escape and pretend I was floating on clouds of meringue. This way the flavors and colors I created were ALL colors of my rainbow imagination. It was only then could I really enjoy eating my lemon meringue pie. I actually do like lemon meringue, but when I was little, I could not wait to grow up and create my own meringue pie or cupcake; and so it was it has been “on the list” until the “more mature me” could make a mini muffin for my best childhood friend ever — ME!
It was only when I saw these Orange Meringue Cupcakes posted by laughing snail on her blog Hecticium http://hecticium.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/orange-meringue-cupcakes.html that “trigger” this childhood story. So, in finding “my destined” cupcakes, I will always be grateful so I can share my “Mini Mandarin Meringue Moments Cupcake” with YOU!
I decided to use mandarins as had some on hand and I like to adapt recipes I see to not only “challenge” myself, but bring out my inner creativity!”
I used the “easy peasy” – regular cake mix “slightly altered” on the above link, but wasn’t initially sure if everything should have been put in the mix, but the next thing I know, I YELLED in E-X-C-I-T-E-M-E-N-T “Everybody in the pool!” Or in this case, “Everybody in the bowl!” I honestly don’t know where I got that one from as “when I was little”, we did not have a pool, but have MANY wonderful childhood memories of going to summer day camp, and it was a popular expression to YELL before jumping in the pool! Perhaps I am reliving my childhood again, but this time through food! 😉
100 grams granulated sugar, (used Coles Organic Raw Sugar)
100 grams unsalted butter*
165 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
THEN came the “Everybody in the pool moment” 😉
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
2 tablespoons mandarin juice
grated zest from 6 mandarins
1 “heaped” tablespoon vanilla yogurt ( I used Vaalia)
NOTE:* I melted the butter then cooled for a few minutes before S-L-O-W-L-Y adding into about ingredients in a stand mixer.
HINT and TIP:
I tasted the batter at this point and was happy with the mild “tang”; feel free to add more juice, zest or water, but would suggest juice or zest first. Noting more mandarin curd and meringue to follow re overall taste. 😉
Preheat oven to 170C; pour batter into a oil sprayed mini cupcake tray**; bake 12 – 14 minutes until lightly golden brown; toothpick comes out clean. 😉 Let cool for 5 minutes before removing mini cupcakes to a wire rack.
I then found a “basic” lemon curd recipe on line which I adapted to my “ Mini Mandarin Meringue Moments Cupcakes”
1/2 cup lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar, (used Coles Organic Raw Sugar)
zest from 3 mandarins
3 egg yolks
37 grams unsalted butter
“Must” have had an “Everybody in the pool” (or in this case saucepan moment) as placed “whisked” egg yolks, lemon juice, mandarin zest, and sugar together in a saucepan (whisking continuously), heated on low until simmering or when the sugar dissolved..
Added butter (still on low) until dissolves; continually whisking; remove from stove top. (one of my favorite things other than kneading as referenced in Found in Translation Chorizo and Onion Bread (provide link)
Return mixture to stove top and heat (on low) until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. (About 10 minutes) Refrigerate until cool (about 30 minutes)
ORANGE BLOSSOM MERINGUE
3 egg whites
50 grams, granulated sugar (used Coles Organic Raw Sugar)
6 drops orange blossom water
WHISK until stiff. Then add in sugar.
I made three batches of meringue; third time “lucky” 😉 (maybe like my Lucky Lemon Chicken)
When it comes to my never-ending food journey, I am always “patient” and “persistent” and always want to know “But Why?” (my food middle name)
I asked myself, “Were the egg whites NOT at room temperature?” (they were!); “Were the egg whites off?” (they were not!); “Did some egg yolk get into the egg white?” (a “spot” did initially but I “quickly” scooped it up with the eggshell…mmm This seems to be the likely culprit. The bowl was clean; not fats or oils.
When I went online for hints and tips, I added a pinch or salt; could have added a pinch of tartaric acid or cream of tartar to thicken the meringue. After “A LOT” of hand whisking…(Did I mention A LOT? lol) I “FINALLY” achieved my desired consistency! WHOO HOO!
What I “loved” about creating these “Mini Mandarin Meringue Moments Cupcakes” is the “difficulty” I had whisking the egg whites, but the end product and outcome for me to take “off the list” more than delights! J Not every recipe always goes to plan, so always expect the unexpected. 😉
HINT or TIP:
Cooking and baking new recipes always seem to take longer. 😉
Cut cupcake top off; with sharp knife, carefully cut a mini whole in the mini cupcake. Fill with mandarin curd.
Place filled mini cupcakes on a baking tray. I just placed them on the tray, but feel free to line with baking paper.
Place under grill for 1 minutes or until meringue caramelizes.
Repeat after me, “I CAN now do these Mini Mandarin Meringue Moments Cupcakes now that they are “off the list” too!” WHOO HOO!