Give your guests the royal treatment with this delicious high-tea treat!
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups caster sugar
2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
3 cups plain flour
1 tblsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups lemon curd
Silver cachous, to decorate
1 cup caster sugar
1 tblsp liquid glucose
2/3 cup water
4 egg whites
1 Line two 12-hole muffin pans (¹⁄³-cup capacity) with paper cases.
2 Beat butter, sugar and rind in a large bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Beat
until just combined. Add combined sifted flour and baking powder with buttermilk in two batches. Stir until smooth. Spoon evenly into prepared cases.
3 Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 15 to 18 minutes, swapping pans halfway through cooking, or until cooked when tested. Stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4 Using a small serrated knife, cut a hole 5cm wide x 1½cm deep in the top of each cake. Spoon curd evenly into holes.
5 To make meringue, place sugar, glucose and water in a small heavy-based saucepan. Stir gently over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and then boil, without stirring, for 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
6 Beat egg whites in a large bowl of an electric mixer until frothy and starting to form soft peaks. Don’t over-beat. With motor operating on medium speed, slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites. Beat on medium to high speed for a further 15 minutes, or until cooled.
7 Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe onto cupcakes. Using a kitchen blowtorch, gently brown the meringue. Decorate with cachous.
If you don’t have a blowtorch, place cakes on an oven tray and pop them under a hot grill for 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.