These are really zingy, citrussy cakes. The sharpness of lemon combines so well with the white chocolate. It’s important to buy good white chocolate, as it makes a better icing; I prefer Swiss brands.
Cook Time15 - 17 minutes
- 175g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 175g unsalted butter, really soft, in small pieces
- 3 (150g) eggs beaten
- FOR THE FILLING
- 12 tsp lemon curd
- FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 200g good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 200g unsalted butter, very soft
- TO DECORATE
- 12 fresh or crystallised violets
- Apple corer (optional)
- Large piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line a cupcake cake tray with 12 paper cases. I use a food mixer for this cake, but you could use a large bowl and a hand-held electric whisk, or a food processor.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Split the vanilla pod length ways, if using, and scrape the seeds into the bowl with the tip of a knife, or simply add the vanilla extract.
3. Add the sugar, butter and eggs. Beat until well mixed, then divide between the cases. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch. Leave in the tin for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Once the cakes are cool, remove the centre of each using an apple corer or a teaspoon and place 1 tsp of lemon curd into the centre. Replace the cake ‘plug’.
5. To make the buttercream, put the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and stand it over barely simmering water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
6. In a food mixer, or in a bowl using a hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter until light, then slowly add the cooled, melted chocolate. Chill slightly, then whisk to thicken. Fill the piping bag and pipe the buttercream on to the cupcakes. Decorate each with a dry, freshly picked violet, or a crystallised violet.