blackberry lemon cupcakes

this is going to be a quick short post because unfortunately i didn’t get a chance to take step by step pictures while i made these blackberry lemon cupcakes.  fortunately, they are incredibly similar to the raspberry lemon cupcakes i made before so you could follow those pictures instead and just picture blackberries instead of raspberries.  it’s a white cupcake filled with lemon curd, topped with blackberry swiss meringue buttercream.

i made these cupcakes for grad student appreciation day.  i was actually planning on making the raspberry lemon cupcakes but when i went to costco, the blackberries were quite a bit cheaper than the raspberries.  so i figured why not give blackberries a try.

i’m glad i did because the blackberry version was quite delicious.  i mean you really can’t go wrong with berries and lemon – they are the perfect combination.  however, i do prefer the raspberry version.

** i recently made a batch of the raspberry lemon cupcakes **

give both a try and let me know what you think!

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raspberry lemon cupcakes

i am so happy that it is finally starting to warm up in the dc area.  for a while it a really really cold for spring time.   but this past weekend was actually nice and (relatively) sunny.  yippee!!!  so when trying to figure out what kind of cupcake to make for april birthdays, i wanted to make something with bright, spring time flavors.

i decided on raspberry and lemon because citrus and berries just scream spring or summer time.  but i already made a lemon raspberry cupcake before.  remember that one?  it was lemon cupcake with raspberry filling topped with lemon buttercream.  i didn’t want to make the same one as before because that’s, well, boring.

after much thought, you know because this is a serious situation, i came up with this raspberry lemon cupcake.  it’s a simple white cupcake (from a good ol’ box of cake mix), filled with lemon curd, and topped with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.  oh and i garnished it with a lovely little slice of lemon.

not to toot my own horn, but i loved this cupcake.  i do tend to like fruity cupcakes, over chocolate ones (crazy, i know), so it wasn’t really a surprise that i like it but it was bright and fruity and perfect for spring time and our april birthdays celebration.

happy birthday to our april birthdays!!!

start by making the lemon curd.  i actually used my lime curd recipe just with lemons instead and it ended up working out great and was the perfect amount to fill 24 cupcakes.  store the lemon curd in the refrigerator while you work on the rest of the cupcake components.  then i moved on to the raspberry puree for the raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.  start off with some frozen (or fresh) raspberries and a bit of water in a small saucepan.

cook over medium heat – the raspberries will start to break down.

then allow the raspberries to cook for about 15 more minutes to start reducing the puree/juice.

strain the raspberries with a fine mesh strainer to take out all of the seeds.  this is what you’re left with – about 1/2 cup of raspberry puree.  allow the puree to cool completely (i just put mine in the fridge).

it’s cupcake time.  bake up a batch of white or vanilla cupcakes.  you could make some homemade ones or be lazy like me and use a box cake mix.  don’t hate.

then fill each cupcake with a bit of lemon curd.

ready to frost…

to make the raspberry swiss meringue buttercream, start with the same base as any other swiss meringue buttercream.  for step by step instructions and pictures please visit this post.

then add the raspberry puree that you made earlier.

mix and mix until all of the puree is incorporated – be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  the result is this beautiful pink buttercream.

now that the raspberry buttercream is done, you can frost your cupcakes.  i used a large closed star tip to frost my cupcakes.

then decorate each cupcake with a slice of lemon and they are ready to serve!

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raspberry chocolate cupcakes

it’s that time again… birthday treats!

this month, i decided to make raspberry chocolate cupcakes.  it’s just a simple chocolate cupcake topped with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

but you know what?  there was actually supposed to be a raspberry filling inside the cupcake.  unfortunately that idea failed miserably because i can’t do math.  haha.  so the idea was that i was going to make a double batch of raspberry filling so i would have enough to fill the cupcakes and use the rest to flavor the buttercream.

but i didn’t calculate the recipe correctly and the filling didn’t set quite right.  i think i ended up adding too many raspberries and not enough cornstarch.  so the filling wasn’t thick enough to actually stay in the piping bag to allow me to fill the cupcakes.  it just poured out of the piping tip.  fail.  but really the sad part is this filling recipe isn’t complicated.  it really was simple multiplication.   i’m just a spazz.  haha.  oh well.

still this raspberry buttercream is the bomb diggity.  i love swiss meringue buttercream.  not only is it silky smooth but it allows you to mix in a good amount of fruit puree or filling without curdling and getting all gross like american buttercream.  so i was able to incorporate enough raspberry flavor into the buttercream that didn’t need the raspberry filling after all.  win!

here’s the recipe i used for the raspberry swiss meringue buttercream – except that i used my messed up, liquidy filling instead of the raspberry puree.  i used about 10 tablespoons of raspberry filling.  though it worked out fine, i would suggest just following this recipe (oh and you can use frozen or fresh raspberries, both work great!)

happy birthday to our march birthdays!!!

mixed berry freezer jam

a while ago, i made some strawberry freezer jam that was delicious.  do you know, in just a few months we finished all 3 jars of that jam.  rather than buying more jam from the store, i figured since it was so easy to make the strawberry freezer jam, why not just make some more.  but chris and i decided that maybe we should try a new kind of jam.  my first thought was raspberry jam because they are still fairly inexpensive at the grocery store.  but chris was worried about the flavor being a little too strong with just raspberries – so we decided to make some mixed berry jam.  we picked up some raspberries, strawberries, and i already had some blueberries in the freezer.

just like the last time i made freezer jam, i just followed the directions on the box but they didn’t have a specific recipe for mixed berry jam.  i just kind of winged it and added 1 cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries, and 1/2 cup of raspberries along with the other ingredients called for like sugar, pectin, and lemon juice.

and you know what?  we both love this jam!  the freshness of the fruit really shines through and i really like the combination of the different berry flavors.

for step by step pictures, check out my strawberry freezer jam post and for the recipe, just follow the instructions included with the pectin.

peach and raspberry crumble

last weekend, chris and i went out to charlottesville, va for a day trip.  he wanted to check out monticello and i just had never been to charlottesville so i wanted to check it out.  although we weren’t able to see much of monticello because it was $22 a person to go on the tour and to even just walk up the trail just to look at the outside of the house (!?!?!?!?), we did find a wonderful orchard.  they had beautiful peaches and nectarines.

we picked some up and i made a peach and raspberry crumble.


i used a combination of a couple recipes and i think it turned out pretty good.  the filling recipe is from ina garten and the crumble topping is actually my dad’s from his banana crumble recipe.  it was a little too sweet but still really yummy.

oh and i learned something new by making this recipe.  i had never peeled peaches before.  i really just thought that you used a regular peeler but nope.  you have to blanch them first and then the skin easily peels off.  amazing!

  

  

and then voila!  a nicely peeled peach…

now on to the rest of the crumble…

     

  

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