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Honey Lemon Cupcake with Yuzu Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Honeycomb

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.

Honey Lemon Cupcake with Yuzu Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Honeycomb2

Honey Lemon Cupcake with Yuzu Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Honeycomb3

 

 

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.

Honey Lemon Cupcake with Yuzu Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Honeycomb1

Honey Lemon Cupcake with Yuzu Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Honeycomb5

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.

passonfruit and white chocolate entremet

passionfruit and white chocolate entremet

gianduja entremet1

gianduja entremet

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!

Honey Lemon Cupcake with Yuzu Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Honeycomb4

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

For the honey lemon cupcake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175C) . Line pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift and combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. These are your dry ingredients. Set aside.  
  3. 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.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating for 1 min. Add milk and vanilla. Continue beating for 30 secs.
  5. In 3 batches, pour the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture, and gently stir with a spatula until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  6. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. Line a flat, big tray with parchment paper. Set aside until ready to use. And you will need a sugar thermometer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Break the honeycomb to pieces to your preferences.

Assemble

  1. Pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake with your favourite nozzle, and top with honey comb pieces.

 

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Earl Grey Honey Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and Toasted Italian Meringue



These mini Earl Grey Honey Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and Toasted Italian Meringue are perfect for an afternoon party to feed  your guests! They are bursting with fruity freshness with a subtle citrus tone, not to mention the cake’s melt-in-your-mouth soft texture.



Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue3Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue5

 

The background story of this creation can be traced to the madeira cake I made at school at the beginning of this term. Medeira cake is a simple citrus cake served with tea or sweet wine; it has a golden brown surface and light yellow interior, and is characterised by its close crumb structure because of its specific making method. I loved this cake when I first tried it because it got the texture that I liked and it’s so simple yet delicious. Yet, this time for my own creation, I, of course, changed things up a bit with some additional elements to make the cake interesting.

Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue

To pair with the sweet, citrus taste from the earl grey honey cake, I decided to use passion fruit curd and some toasted meringue. I have eaten passion fruit desserts before outside but It’s actually my first time to buy passion fruit in my life (I know right..). And I realised I’d been missing out such a great fruit! The moment I cut it open, the fragrance coming out from it was just heavenly and I could instantly well imagine how good it would taste with some greek yogurt and honey for breakfast.

Earl_Grey_Cake_with_Passionfruitcurd_and_Toasted_Meringue2

Also, I also grasped today’s free time to practise tempering chocolate. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but tempering chocolate gives me a headache most of the time and sometimes it gets really frustrating. Luckily, today I did manage to temper chocolate and make some simple decoration successfully. I will need to temper chocolate again the coming week and I hope today’s experience is gonna give me more confidence. Anyway, I hope that you all like this recipe and have a fruitful week ahead of you! (pun intended)


Ingredients (makes around 15 mini cakes) :

Earl Grey Honey Cake

  • 180g cake flour
  • 100g corn flour
  • 80g almond meal
  • 4 earl grey tea bags, loose leaves of
  • 5g baking powder
  • Salt, pinch of
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 50g sour cream
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod

Passion fruit curd 

Italian Meringue

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Earl Grey Honey Cake 

  1. Boil milk, 2 bags of earl grey loose leaves, and vanilla beans in a pot. Let it infused until ready to use.  
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest in the last minute of mixing.
  3. Add eggs SLOWLY until all incorporated (only add more eggs until they are fully incorporated or you’d risk curdling the mixture; also, mind that the eggs should be at room temperature/slightly warm to achieve the best result)
  4. While the eggs are mixing, prepare and sift your dry ingredients (i.e. cake flour, almond meal, 2 bags of earl grey loose leaves, baking powder, and salt). Gently fold in dry ingredients into the butter mix until just incorporated (don’t over mix)
  5. Slowly add earl grey-infused milk, lemon juice and sour cream. Mix until just incorporated.
  6. Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe evenly into silicon mould. Tap the mould to release air bubbles. Bake at 180C for 25-30 mins until golden brown. Let cool. 

Passion fruit curd 

  1. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and add to the passion fruit curd while it’s still warm.
  2. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until they start to set*

*They set pretty fast so please be ready to pipe when they reach the ideal consistency.

Italian Meringue

  1. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and do NOT stir. Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  2. When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites (pour the hot syrup on the side of the mixing bowl to avoid cooking the egg whites). Turn the mixer to high speed and continue beating for about 5-7 mins, until the meringue is cooled down to 50C and glossy stiff peaks have formed.

P.S When you assemble the cakes, you should first pipe the meringue AND toast them, before you pipe the passion fruit curd to avoid melting the curd.

 Yum




7 comments
Earl Grey Honey Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake decorated with fresh figs

Confession: I have a long love affair with earl grey-infused desserts. This cake is the result of my attempt to give into this love, while also going against the grain by NOT creating one of the obvious fall season treats that are already flooding the food world at the moment (let’s see when I will fail) :p. As with anything tea based, the key to making the flavour work is a reverence for the brewing process. Your focus should be on drawing out the full-bodied flavour that lies within. And being a British tea, this choice of flavour can make for the perfect afternoon drink, as well as the ideal naughty snack.

Earl Grey Honey Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake decorated with fresh figs

As for the cake itself – with its own inherent citrus undertones, the Earl Grey in this cake is ideally accentuated with the addition of fresh lemon juice and zest. On the other hand, throwing in cream cheese is a new idea, as the taste of the first version of this cake was lacking vibrancy, something which I reckon a great cheesecake should possess. When this is then mixed with mascarpone cheese, you get a superbly rounded flavour packing creamy sweetness and multiple layers of sourness. But that’s not all. Did I forget to mention the finishing touch of fresh figs and drizzles of extra honey on top? All this together, well, it’s a rich, vibrant kick of elegant floral flavour in every bite.

Fresh figs atop an Earl Grey Honey Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake

In terms of process, just like other cheesecakes, this cake requires a water bath while baking to prevent the cake’s surface from cracking from the heat. Also, it has to be baked at a lower temperature to allow for even heat distribution. This is not a short bake and, I know, I hate to wait just as much as every baker does. But again, patience is the key to everything. How about watching your favourite show on Netflix as you wait? Hope you will enjoy this recipe :)!

A fresh baked Earl Grey Honey Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 500g mascarpone cheese
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 120g good quality honey
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 450ml whole milk
  • 5 earl grey bag loose leaves
  • 4tbsp cake flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the base:

  • 220g graham biscuit
  • 80g melted butter

Toppings:

  • 2-3 medium sized figs
  • honey

Instructions:

For the base:

  1. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Ground the graham biscuit into a semi-fine texture with some crunch left using a food processor or blender. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  3. Evenly distribute the mixture across the bottom of the pan, before pressing it with a spoon until a firm and even based is formed.

For the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven at 320F (160C)
  2. Add milk and earl grey tea leaves into a saucepan, bring the mixture to boil and mix well. Turn off the heat and let the flavours develop as it cools and then set aside.
  3. Add mascarpone cheese, cream cheese and honey to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix the ingredients on a medium speed until evenly blended and smooth.
  4. One at a time, add eggs to the cheese mixture, mixing at a medium speed until all five are well incorporated.
  5. Add salt, vanilla, lemon juice, zest, and the cooled earl grey milk to the mixture and incorporate gently using a spatula.
  6. Finally, sift in cake flour and mix well. Take care not to over mix – the texture should be smooth.
  7. Pour the completed batter over the base in the pre-prepared cake tin.
  8. Bake the cake in a water bath (e.g. a larger pan with hot water inside) at 320F (160C) for 20 mins. Then lower the temperature to 240F (120C) and bake for 90 mins more. When time is up, open the door slightly to let the cake gradually cool down in the oven.
  9. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  10. Lastly, decorate the cake with fresh figs and honey. Enjoy!
4 comments