These honey lemon cupcakes with yuzu swiss meringue buttercream are heavenly – light, refreshing and full of citrus flavour – and the additional homemade honeycomb on top gives you a perfect sweet crunch when you bite into it.
I’ve always wanted to try to make desserts with yuzu because i just find it has a floral, citrus aroma that makes it so special among all the citrus. It might still not be a popular item in western countries, but it has always been part of asian culinary culture, especially in Korea and Japan. Yuzu fruits are not readily available in Australia, and I had been on the search of yuzu puree/juice for a while. That said, feeling exhilarated is probably an understatement the moment i saw it on an asian store’s shelf a couple of weeks ago. In this recipe, the subtle incorporation of lemon and honey is just to complement, if not enhance, the yuzu flavour, which is the hero of these cupcakes.
So I guess I should do a little update of my school life here.
TIME DOES FLY. I am now in the superior level – the third and final stage of my certificate III of Patisserie @ Le Cordon Bleu Sydney. During this term, we are focusing more on marzipan, mousse-based cake and entremets (basically, entremet refers to multi-layer mousse cake of various flavour combination and textures). I used to feel terrified of making entremets as the timing was so tight to complete an entremet within a 3.5-hour practical class and my cakes were usually not frozen solid enough for the final glazing. However, as I got to practise more, I’ve learnt to organise better and work faster in the kitchen and I start to feel more in control of things. The cakes that I share below are two of my favourite entremets made at school. The first one is passionfruit and white chocolate entremet that taste luxurious from top to bottom, and the second one is gianduja entremet bursting with tropical flavours.
Next week, we are going to have a trial of making our own entremet for our final assessment. It’s the time for all students to show what they’ve learnt in the past nine months and I can’t wait to test my ideas and bring my design into life! Enjoy your weekend!
For the cupcake
- 190g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 130g butter, softened
- 80g caster sugar
- 30g honey
- 2 whole eggs, room temperature
- 120ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 lemon, zest of
For the yuzu swiss meringue buttercream
- 150g egg whites (around 5 eggs’ worth)
- 200g caster sugar
- 280g butter, softened and chopped into small cubes
- 3 tbsp yuzu juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
For honey comb
- 300g granulated sugar
- 150g honey
- 80ml water
- 50g golden syrup
- 1 tbsp baking soda
For the honey lemon cupcake
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175C) . Line pans with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, sift and combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. These are your dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, using a hand-held mixer or an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, honey, sugar, and lemon zest on medium high speed until creamy and smooth. This will take around 4-5 mins.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating for 1 min. Add milk and vanilla. Continue beating for 30 secs.
- In 3 batches, pour the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture, and gently stir with a spatula until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
- Fill cupcake liners to nearly full and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake’s centre comes out clean.
For the yuzu Swiss meringue buttercream
- Add egg whites and sugar to an oil-free bowl. Using a double boiling method, gently heat the egg whites mixture up, while whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140F (60C). The sugar should have completely dissolved at this stage.
- Add the hot egg white-sugar mixture to your electric mixer mixing bowl (oil-free). Whip on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels cool (this is very important, otherwise the butter you’re about to add it will melt). This will take about 7-10 mins.
- Turn to medium-low speed, gradually add the softened butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until a silky smooth texture is reached. Add yuzu juice and salt, and beat until well combined. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
For the honeycomb
- Line a flat, big tray with parchment paper. Set aside until ready to use. And you will need a sugar thermometer.
- Put sugar, honey, water, and golden syrup in a large saucepan with enough depth. Cook, while stirring continuously with a spatula, on low heat until all sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat to medium high and bring to boil. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 154C on the thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and let the bubbles subside.
- Add the baking soda and mix thoroughly to let the reaction occur. Many bubbles will form and the mixture will rise so please be careful. Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and set aside to cool completely.
- Break the honeycomb to pieces to your preferences.
- Pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake with your favourite nozzle, and top with honey comb pieces.