Vanilla-Date Cupcakes with Etrog Cream
- Cooking and Prep: 2.5 h
- Serves: 12
Lemon Esrog Cream
Boil a generous cupful of dates in water for ten minutes. Remove the skins and process in a food processor until smooth. Should yield 1/2 cup of date puree.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Whip the egg whites into soft peaks, then set aside.
Cream together margarine and sugar; add vanilla, then the egg whites.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk. Add date puree and mix. Pour into cupcake pans and bake about 18 minutes.
Prepare the Lemon Etrog Cream
In a stainless steel bowl held over simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (about ten minutes). Remove from heat and whisk the butter/margarine into the mixture; add etrog zest and liqueur. Cover with plastic wrap (wrap should touch the curd directly) and let thicken in the refrigerator.
In another bowl, whip the heavy cream. Fold into the cooled, thickened curd.
Lemon and etrog should be scrubbed and checked for scales.
Prepare the Meringue Topping
Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form; while mixer is running, add two tablespoons sugar and beat to combine.
When the syrup is ready and still hot, beat egg whites at a low speed while pouring the syrup slowly and steadily down the side of the bowl. Raise mixer speed to medium-high and beat well until stiff peaks form, about seven minutes. (If the bowl is still hot, allow to cool and rewhip a bit.)
Use a spoon or scoop and make a well in the center of the cupcake. Use a pastry bag to pipe the lemon cream into the well.
Now use a pastry bag to pipe the meringue decoratively on top of the cupcake; caramelize the top with a kitchen torch (or place briefly under broiler).