Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lime Curd Butterfly Cakes

A little while ago I stumbled across the cupcake hero event being hosted by Laurie at Quirky Cupcake . I have a happy history with cupcakes and I just knew I had to participate.

When I was growing up, one of my weekly chores was to make a cake for lunchboxes, afternoon tea and so on. When I was about ten I discovered food colouring. This led to an outpouring of rainbow creations. Then I realised that by making cupcakes instead of a large single cake, I could multiply my canvass and give full vent to my colouring creativity.

The side benefits of this little scheme soon became obvious. It was easy for my Mum to identify the rate at which slices were disappearing out of a single cake. Much, much harder to keep track of a whole stack of cupcakes.

Then things got even better. I hit on the idea of adding sultanas. My sister hates them. Even more cakes for me then. Eventually, my Mum made me relent on the sultanas. So then I add jam, my sister hates that too. Haaaaa!! I was a mean child.

Anyway, the first step to being a cupcake hero was to find a recipe. I remembered that Donna Hay magazine had a cupcake special last year, so I decided to go with their base recipe. Having made them I have to say that, while they were good, I don't think it is the best recipe ever. A bit too dense and heavy for my taste. I prefer something lighter and more sponge like.

The theme for this month's event is lime. I had pretty much decided that I wanted to make butterfly cakes. They were always a feature of birthday parties when I was little. I loved them, I thought they were just so pretty.

The obvious thing seemed to be to make some lime curd for the filling of the cakes. I regularly make lemon curd based on a fantastic Delia Smith recipe, and it's not much of a stretch from lemon to lime. It turned out rather well.

In the end I was quite pleased with the cakes. They looked pretty and they tasted great. They didn't stick around for long. What more can you ask for.

(adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, May/June 2006)

Cream 250gm of softened butter, 1 1/4 cup caster sugar and a dash of vanilla extract. Gradually add 4 eggs and beat well. Sift over 2 1/4 cups of plain flour and 2 1/4 tspns of baking powder. Beat until combined. Fold through 1 cup of milk.

Spoon the mixture into a 12 hole half cup cupcake tin. Holes should be lined with patty cases.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 160C oven.

Lime Curd
(adapted from a Delia Smith Recipe)

Place 75gm of caster sugar, grated zest of 2 limes (or 1 lemon), 3-4 tbspn of lime juice or to taste (or juice of 1 lemon) and 2 eggs in the top of a double boiler. Whisk together. Add 50 gm of diced unsalted butter.

Bring the water in the bottom of the double boiler to a bare simmer.

Stir frequently till thickened. This should take 15-20 minutes. There is no need to stand and stir the whole time. Just give it a good stir every now and then.


At 9:14 pm, Blogger Anh said...

Oh KJ, what a beautiful cake! It looks so elegant! Well-done!

At 11:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kj, these cupcakes look lovely! I'm a new convert to the lemon(or lime) curd, I did not know what took me so long to like them.

At 12:18 am, Blogger Deborah said...

They are beautiful!!!

At 3:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This cupcake looks gorgeous! I love the filling :)

At 7:34 am, Blogger Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Beautiful! I loved butterfly/angel cakes as a child too. I love lemon curd but haven't had lime curd - must change that!

At 11:13 am, Blogger Nora B. said...

so very pretty! this reminds me of my childhood - we ate a lot of butterfly cupcakes. We were taught now to make it in home-economics class. But your curd makes this a grown-up cupcake. I luuurve curd anything. I haven't made lime curd before. yuummm!

At 8:34 pm, Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I'm with everyone else I love curd!!!If I had have been your sister when we were younger you would have had competition with the cupcakes disappearing. A few sultanas, jam or anything else would not have deterred me!

At 8:25 am, Blogger KJ said...

Thanks for the kind comments. It seems curd is a universal favourite. I am particularly partial to passionfruit curd. I just have to go and make some now.

At 1:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

butterfly cakes are so pretty! and i'm sure they were delicious, too!

At 8:51 pm, Blogger Lydia said...

beautiful cakes! love it...

At 5:39 am, Blogger Carla said...

Just found your site and it's really great. You recipes look amazing and the photos are wonderful. I can't wait to try these cupcakes!


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