Lots of Lemons and Spring Days.

The past few days have been all about friends and family. Being occupied with different activities what quite easy therefore baking was quite planned.

Friends were over this week, so a dessert platter was required, specifically, I was to make it.

I made lemon blueberry cupcakes, lemon lime macarons and lemonade. A perfect tangy treat...

 There was a lot of food, cookies, cupcakes and ice-cream...the spring traditions are coming back to me like a forgotten pastime, I couldn't ask for anything more. We talked, ate and baked. We baked a lot.
I also want to thank the people who visit my blog day in day out. The comments are amazingly beautiful which makes me work to my full potential to write up post like these...Thank you to my exceptional readers!

Lemon blueberry cupcakes
Makes 12

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 large egg
zest of half a lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a muffin pan with liners.

In a stand mixer beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, zest and vanilla extract and beat for a further 3 minutes of until combined. Sift in the flour and milk and fold to combine.

Scoop the batter into the liners and place 2-3 blueberries into each cupcake. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.

Lemon swiss meringue buttercream

2 large egg whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
250g butter, softened and cubed
1/4 tsp lemon extract

Place the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk (manually) until it reaches 160F or until thick ribbon forms.

Remove from the heat and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the butter one cube at a time, whisking between each addition until all combined. Beat in the extract.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes before piping  onto the cupcakes. Decorate with fresh blueberries and candied lemon peel.

Lemon lime macarons
Makes 25

250g almond meal
250g icing sugar
6 egg whites
65mL water
250g caster sugar
food colouring

Process the almond meal and icing sugar through a food processor until fine. Sift the mixture into a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix half the egg white (3 egg whites) with 1 tsp yellow food colouring (I used gel) and mix to combine, pour onto the almond meal mixture but do not stir yet.

Place the remaining egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce to medium and heat to 110C. When the syrup has reached this temperature start beating the egg whites until soft peaks form. When the syrup reaches 118C, pour the syrup in a thin  stream into the egg whites while mixing oven high speed. Beat until 50C.

Fold the Italian meringue into the almond mixture. Pipe onto baking trays lined with paper. Allow 1-2 hours for a thin skin to form. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes.

Sandwich using the buttercream recipe above but using 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 1/2 tsp lime zest.

Makes 1L

juice of 2 lemons
750ml cool water
10 mint leaves
1 lemon, thinly sliced
ice cubes
5 tbsp sugar

Mix all the ingredients in a jug until combine and sugar is dissolved. Serve chilled.

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