There are certain recipes that I look forward to making. Normally they are the ones that look really good in the book and ones that I would pro-actively choose to eat... and anything that contains chocolate or sugar. The lemon meringue cupcakes were amongst this exclusive group. As you do not need to make your own lemon curd, these really aren't as laborious as I originally thought.
Although the hummingbird cupcakes tend to be very fragile, especially when just out of the oven they somehow have a nice firm top. To cut little cones out of the cakes only needs a sharp knife and gentle hands. I like this process. It's manual, repetitive and relaxing. You pop the lemon curd in the middle and then package it back up again, hiding your secret with a mountain of whipped topping.
Having been lulled in to a stupor I was not being paranoid when grilling the topping and some of the cupcakes caught in a matter of blinks. Smoldering is not a compliment when it comes to cupcakes. I quickly scraped the top layer off half the cupcakes leaving the milky white peeping through. It is rather like sunbathing though - you don't want to be milky white, nor do you want to be sizzling, but somewhere in the middle - slightly bronzed. The other day someone complimented me on my fake tan and I was happy to tell them it was real - that is the colour you're aiming for when cooking lemon meringue cupcakes. Just golden.
The less than stunning result are below, from which I handpicked the more acceptable ones to take to the judging panel at work...