Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin decided to pursue a sensible career in science. It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn’t any fun at all. Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she’s living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina. Find her at www.ErinKnightley.com, on Twitter.com/ErinKnightley, or at facebook.com/ErinKnightley
Thanks so much for letting me join you today, Chicklets! I’m never more at home than when I’m in the kitchen, and I’m delighted to be here today to share an original recipe that I cooked up in honor of the release (tomorrow – EEK!) of my début novel, MORE THAN A STRANGER.
Baking has always been one of my very favorite things in the entire world (although between you and me, I’d do much less of it if my hubby weren’t so willing to clean the kitchen after – that saint!). As a matter of fact, ErinKnightley.com used to be called HaveYourCakeAndReadItToo.com 🙂 Until my deadlines started getting so crazy, I would post a ‘slice of life’ story with a recipe every week. My favorites were always the more unusual cupcakes (Campfire cupcakes, anyone? Lavender honey, perhaps?)
So without further ado, may I present . . .
More Than a Spongecake!
Just like in the book, where my hero is so much more than the stranger my heroine thinks him to be, this cupcake looks very ordinary until one bites into it. Inside awaits a surprise filling: blueberry lemon curd! The whole cupcake is then topped with Hint of Lemon Buttercream, and sprinkled with lemon zest. It’s unexpected, different, and best of all – yummy! (Side note: the lemon is a nod to my heroine, whose fresh, lemony scent entices the hero).
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest (as fine as possible)
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325. Separate eggs. In a large mixing bowl, beat yolks until very thick and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, then the water, then both extracts and the lemon rind.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and salt, and beat mixture until stiff but still moist. Carefully fold the whites into the yolk mixture
Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until done. Let sit five minutes in pan, then cool on rack.
PS – For an easy substitute, feel free to use boxed white or yellow cake. The blueberry lemon curd is the real star of this cupcake!
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh blueberries – mashed or puréed
2 and 1/2 tablespoons butter – cut into 1/8 inch pats
In the bowl or top of broiler, whisk yolks until thick and creamy. Slowly beat in sugar and whisk until well blended. Whisk in the blueberry purée, lemon juice and zest until well combined. Set the bowl over the simmering water and stir constantly with a spatula, being sure to scrap the sides of the bowl. Continue until thickened, approximately 8-10 minutes. Note that the mixture will become pinker and pinker as it cooks.
Spoon into glass container and allow to cool before placing in fridge.
Hint of Lemon Buttercream
1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 or so tablespoons of whole milk
Cream together butter and shortening. Slowly add in powdered sugar. If the mixture becomes too thick, add milk as needed. Add both extracts and beat until smooth and creamy.
Core a small section of the cupcake. Fill the pocket with curd, then set the removed cake back on top. Top with frosting and lemon zest.
Now tell me: Are you adventurous with baking/cooking? Or do you like to stick to the tried and true recipes? What’s your favorite unusual cupcake flavor? Comment for a chance to win! Details of the giveaway HERE.
MORE THAN A STRANGER debuts June 5th
AN UNCOVERED BETRAYAL
When his family abandoned him at Eton, Benedict Hastings found an unexpected ally in his best friend’s sister. Her letters kept him going—until the day he had to leave everything behind. Years later, Benedict has seen his share of betrayal, but when treachery hits close to home, he turns to his old friend for safe haven….
AN UNWANTED ATTRACTION
After five torturous years on the marriage circuit, Lady Evelyn Moore is finally free to live her life as she wishes. So when her brother shows up with a dashing stranger, she finds herself torn between her dreams…and newfound desires.
AN UNSTOPPABLE INTRIGUE
Despite his determination to keep Evie at a distance, Benedict cannot deny the attraction that began with a secret correspondence. Yet as they begin to discover one another, the dangers of Benedict’s world find them, threatening their lives, their love, and everything they thought they could never have…