All posts by squishycupcakes

Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse Cake

This is the perfect dessert when you want to serve something decadent, but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. This dessert has layers of chocolate fudge cake, chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse with Amaretto. Topped off with some whipped cream and raspberries to make a dessert every chocolate lover will go crazy for!

So I know that it’s sort of cheating, but honestly I just use a box cake mix. I usually go for a Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge or Devils Food. They are rich and moist while maintaining a fluffy texture. It’s good to make a cake that doesn’t crumble too much because you want the rounds to stay in shape.

We went with 3 layers of cake on this one because we were feeling particularly naughty. That ended up being a bit much, I would stick with just 2 layers of cake. It was a fun stay-cation with some special visitors. My very good friend and her son stopped into town for a few days and stayed with us. It is so crazy how fast life passes you by. I remember when her son was just starting school and we used to all hang out and watch The Incredibles and other fun movies with the kids. Now he is just starting to drive and doing all sorts of great activities in high school. Where does all the time go? I miss those guys so much. They were our favorite couple to hang out with! Never found friends quite like that.

So while we had a few of them here we really went all out in food department. It was so much fun to just cook for 3 days in a row and have great drinks and play some fun games and watch a scary movie!!!

The very first time we made this cake we were inspired by the mousse cakes at our local Kneaders. The most difficult part of the conceptual process for us was trying to find plastic sheets to create the mold. After like an hour wandering around Hobby Lobby we stumbled on some computer printable transparent plastic sheets in the school supplies area. They worked perfectly!! If you can’t find something like this then you can definitely free pipe your mousse, just make sure that you have let it set for a few hours first.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix, prepared according to directions in a 9×13 pan. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 1/2 Cups Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

White Chocolate Amaretto Mousse

  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 4 oz Ghiradelli White Chocolate
  • 1/4 Cup Amaretto
  • 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

To prepare the Chocolate Mousse:

Using a stand mixer or a hand held mixer beat the eggs and sugar on a low speed for about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of cream into a medium sauce pan. Over medium heat bring the cream to just warm enough that you can still touch it, this should only take 1-2 minutes.
With your mixer on low slowly add the warm cream to the eggs and sugar until all the ingredients are combined. Now add the mixture back into the saucepan and put it back on the stovetop over a low heat. Stir consistently for about 5 minutes, do not let it boil!
Once it done it will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in  chocolate chips until completely melted. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally.

Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with the vanilla using the whisk attachment for 5-8 minutes until stiff peaks form. Switch over to the paddle attachment and on a low speed add the chilled chocolate spoonfuls at a time until it completely mixed.

Spoon into a large piping bag, secure the top with a rubberband and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

To prepare White Chocolate Amaretto Mousse:

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and amaretto for about 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Using a spatula take 1/4 of the whipping cream and fold it into the cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining whipping cream until you have a smooth mousse. Transfer the mousse into a piping bag, secure the top with a rubberband and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Assemble:
Using a 3-4 inch round cookie cutter cut 1 piece of cake per person. Using a thin knife, cake leveler or a cutting wire slice each cake piece into 2 even disks. Create molds by wrapping the plastic around the circumference of the cookie cutter and taping the edge down. Place the molds on a flat plate or a cookie sheet and start to layer with cake-mousse-cake-mousse and pop it in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes or a few hours until you’re ready to serve!

Top it with whipped cream and fresh fruit and remove the mold and let the good times roll!

Southwestern Mac and Cheese with Sausage

When you’re a busy adult with many important things to do it can be hard to make sure you have a homemade meal and not too much fast food for lunch every day. I used to try and meal plan so that there would be enough from every meal for leftovers……and that plan ended with way too many casseroles. I do enjoy a good casserole every now and then, but almost every day is just way too much.

So I started this whole meal prep thing. I’ve discovered some really good Crockpot and one pot recipes  and of course just a few casseroles. That way I can just spend a little time every Sunday making enough lunch to last the whole week. And then that free’s up dinner time for something simple on busy days like steamed veggies and rice or chicken salads.

What is your favorite thing to make for lunch?

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Macaroni Elbows, cooked according to package directions
  • 6 Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, cut into bite size pieces and fully cooked
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 30 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 12 oz can Seasoned Black Beans, rinsed
  • 7 oz Chopped Green Chiles, hot or mild depending on your preference
  • 2 Cup Colby Jack Shredded Cheese

Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once it’s cooked to your liking drain the pasta and toss with 1 tbsp butter. In a medium skillet over medium high heat add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a medium skillet and add the sausage and cook about 3-5 minutes until well done.

In a 6 quart pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour, you should have a thick paste texture. Add the milk 1/2 cup at a time whisking thoroughly. Whisk in the tomato sauce and green chiles, bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer until your sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.

Once the sauce will coat the back of a spoon add the cheese and black beans. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and add the macaroni and sausage.

Orange and White Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies

These cookies are the perfect summer treat! The tangy orange with the sweet white chocolate is almost like a creamsicle! One of the best things about this recipe is that the orange flavor is all natural so you don’t have any of that funky extract after taste.

These cookies are also so soft and chewy, some people fall either into the crunchy cookie lover category or the chewy lovers. Which one are you? I can go either way!

I brought these to both jobs and only had a few leftover for us to enjoy! My favorite part was opening the tupperware and getting a burst of orange right in the olfactory sense! I just love making treats to share with my friends at work. I have one co-worker who doesn’t really like desserts and now whenever he hears I have treats is right at my desk curiously peeking in the box!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 16 oz White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer or large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until you have a grainy paste. Add the vanilla, egg, zest, juice, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Slowly add flour, mix until well combined. Finally add the white chocolate chips and mix for about 30 seconds until well distributed.

On a large baking sheet drop small spoonfuls of cookies I did 5 rows of 4 cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake or else the citrus will burn the bottom of the cookie.

Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and finish cooling. Store in a covered container if they last long enough 😉

Feel free to comment below and let me know how yours turned out or if you have any questions.

Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork

Who watched the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 last night? I was enthralled from start to finish. I mean that first scene almost had me in tears. You go, Arya Stark! I especially loved the scene of Daenerys Targaryen finally coming home to Dragonstone. The silent joy and resolve of that moment was one of the most moving parts of this entire series.

I just can’t wait to see what happens for the rest of this season! Will Jon Snow and Daenerys meet? Will he find out the truth about his past? Will little Arya get her chance at revenge on Cersei, or will Jamie beat her to it? Will we see more of Ed Sheeran? (seriously, what was that all about?) All these burning questions and only 6 more episodes!

I like to make a special dinner for GoT night. This week it was one of our old favorites re-imagined. Pulled pork with an extra spicy bite and just a hint of sweetness seems more than fitting. Definitely give this one a shot the next time you sit down with friends or family to another thrilling episode!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs Pork Loin Roast
  • Pork Rub- I created my own with 1/2 cup brown sugar and  1 Tbsp each: garlic salt, paprika, red pepper flakes and black pepper.
  • 1-2 liter of Dr. Pepper
  • 3 Serrano peppers- the smaller the pepper the more heat you get
  • 2 Jalepenos, plus more if you want some for a raw topping
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1-2 Cup of Jack Daniels Spicy BBQ sauce.

These ingredients will give you a nice little mild to medium spicy bite. If you really want to kick it up a notch you can get 2 of the following: cayenne pepper, tobasco pepper or habanero peppers.

Rub the pork rub onto your roast and let it sit for 5 minutes. In your slow cooker add the roast fat side down. Slice the peppers at least in half and add to the slow cooker. Pour in the Dr. Pepper in so that the roast is at least 3/4 submerged. Pour 1/2 Cup of BBQ sauce onto the roast.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Once your meat is tender carefully move the roast into a large bowl. The meat should easily pull apart with a fork. Shred the roast and add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

Toast your buns and add your favorite toppings such as Colby Jack Cheese, Jalapenos, Onions, or Cole Slaw. Don’t forget to top it with even more BBQ sauce to your taste!

Cheesy Beef and Potato Bake

Here is another simple weeknight dinner. 15 minute prep and then into the oven for 90 minutes while you work on those pesky chores! There is just always so much more to do in the summer. Between gardening and yard work and there always seems like there is more cleaning that needs to be done. That pesky spring cleaning seems like it will never be done!

This year I have definitely learned the value of putting down new mulch every year. The weeds have just taken over my whole life, I simply can’t catch up. I am mostly just trying to keep them from over running my veggies at this point. How is everyone’s garden doing this year? I am finally having some success with basil this year. I mean big success. I think we’re going to have to make some basil pesto this year. I garnished this dish with mt first basil cuttings. And they were delicious! This whole dish was a wonderful comfort food. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced (the thicker the slice the longer to cook)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Cups Tillamook Thick Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • Garnish with fresh basil and parsley

Thin Gravy:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 4 Chicken Buillon cubes
  • 1 tsp Red pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium skillet add 1 tbsp cooking oil and add the onion. Saute over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the beef and rosemary. Cook until the beef is nicely browned. Drain the fat. Return to heat and add garlic, saute for just another 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

To make the gravy in a medium saucepan melt the butter with the buillion cubes, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown a little. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time, whisking it together until all the lumps are gone. Add the milk and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer for 5-7 minutes whisking occasionally until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spray a 9×9 cooking dish with cooking spray. Lay down half the potato slices in a single layer slightly overlapping them. Cover with half the beef, sauce and cheese. Repeat a second layer of potatoes, beef, sauce and cheese. Cover with tin foil.

Bake for an hour, test the potatoes with a fork. There should be minimal resistance. Bake longer if needed.

Top with your favorite garnish…I always for go for basil and parsley.

Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby

You can call them Dutch Baby or you can call them German Pancakes. Either way, they are completely delicious and fun to make! I can believe I’ve never made this before. It’s so easy to make and kinda feels like you’re having a fancy dinner in about 30 minutes!

I remember my parents made something similar to this when we were kids. And I just loved it! They are very light with a sweet buttery flavor. Which makes them the perfect blank slate for any added flavors you like! I decided to go with the ultimate comfort with Cinnamon and apples. Next time I’m thinking a summery mixed berry!

I used a 9 inch cast iron pan but you could also use a 9×11 baking dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar, split
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter in the pan and put it in the oven until melted.

In a large bowl toss together the apple slices with 2 tbsp sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Remove your dish with melted butter from the oven. Stir in the brown sugar, this gives you a start of a caramel. Add the apples to the dish and stir to coat them. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and 2 tbsp sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until there are no lumps left. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Remove the apples from the oven. Evenly pour the batter over the apples. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once the pastry has puffed up and the edges are browned and the center doesn’t jiggle you will know that it’s done!!

Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve up with some patty sausages or crispy bacon….yum!

Freedom Fire Blondies

Where does everyone like to go to watch the fireworks? We will either watch them from the lawn in front of Convergys or we’ll go to the stadium. This year I work till 9 and meeting my parents at the stadium. Hopefully it all works out!

I’m not sure where this started but watching the fireworks has always meant a great deal to me. I love the patriotic music and when those fireworks get popping I just get really emotional. I thinks fireworks are really romantic, and unfortunately it’s always been a terrible day for me relationship wise. But I am so happy to be able to spend it with my friends and family now!

And of course when you are sitting on a lawn or in a stadium for hours you need to bring treats! Chips or pretzels for the salty crew……but what to bring for the sweet teeth? Blondies of course! And I had to make them holiday appropriate……all you need is a little food dye!

These Blondies are a great treat with white chocolate chips and pecans for a little crunch. These are incredibly easy to make and a quick treat to whip up and delight your  friends and family this holiday!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Butter, softened
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans, finely chopped
  • Red and Blue food dye
  • Your favorite patriotic sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until you have a grainy paste. Add the egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Beat in the flour until you have a thick batter. Gently stir in the white chocolate and pecans.

Split the batter evenly into 3 different bowls. In one bowl slowly add blue dye until you get your desired color. Repeat with the red dye in a separate bowl.

Spray an 8×11 pan with cooking spray. Using a cookie scoop. scoop the batter into the pan in alternating colors. Run a knife under hot water for about a minute and then drag it through the batter to create a swirl. (Careful not to over do it otherwise your colors will start to bleed.)

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and add sprinkles. Let it cool for at least an hour before serving.

One Pan Bacon and Bowtie Pasta

I’ve been on somewhat of a meal prep kick lately. In an effort to try and save some money we’ve been taking lunch to work for quite some time now. We started out just taking leftovers from dinner the night before. The problem with this is that I have to plan a dinner every night that is going to have enough for 2 meals. This proved to be a challenge week in and week out. Thus enter the idea of meal prep.

I’ve done different crockpot meals and those work out really well! I like the idea of making a lot of food with very little effort. So a one pot meal is right up my alley. This dish was quick to put together while I was cleaning the kitchen and starting my gardening chores. This turned out really yummy and you can really just throw in whatever veggies you feel like! This is just a nice comfort food, but the fresh veggies won’t make you feel guilty about it!

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Thick cut Bacon, chopped into 1 inch squares
  • 6 Johnsonville Sausages…pick your favorite flavor (I like Italian), sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 24 oz Jar pasta sauce
  • 24 oz Water
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 16 oz Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 Bag Kraft Italian Blend Cheese

In a large skillet brown the bacon over medium heat. Once it starts to get crispy add the sausage. Cook until lightly browned. Add the green peppers, onions and tomatoes, saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add garlic, rosemary and oregano, saute for another minute.

Add the pasta sauce and water. Bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. If you’re eating it now then go ahead and add the cheese and cover for another minute until the cheese it nice and melted.

If you are prepping lunches then let it cool for 20 minutes. Place in tupperware and top with cheese. Store in the fridge. It will take about 2.5 minutes to heat up in a microwave.

S’mores Cupcakes


It is certainly s’mores season! I love all the outdoor mountain summer activities. Camping, hiking, hanging out by the lake, campfires, tinfoil dinners and of course S’MORES!! I am not usually one for marshmallow, but when you toast it up and it gets all gooey and the perfect golden brown color. And then you add melty chocolate and crispy graham crackers and you have the perfect summer treat!

My first foray into s’mores baked goods were a few pans of s’mores brownies. This hit 2 birds with one stone. I have never made homemade brownies before so I wanted to give it a shot. And of course I had to elevate it and add some s’more elements. And as I was attempting to lightly toast them in the oven under the broiler they caught on FIRE……god I have never been so scared! Thankfully they were incredibly easy to extinguish.

Needless to say when I decided to make a cupcake version I went with a meringue frosting and lightly torched them with a handheld kitchen torch. I’ve had this torch for several years and I have only just barely mastered using it!


Once again I am back at it with my all time favorite cupcake recipe! If you haven’t tried this one yet you are missing out. They are both light and fluffy and incredibly moist! The filling for the cupcakes is the perfect Hershey Chocolate filling you would need to have a genuine s’more experience. I decided to go with a graham cracker crust instead of just crumbling some on top. Make sure that you don’t add too much butter otherwise you will end up with a greasy mess.

Well here we go!

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 1 Package Hersheys Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 6 oz Mini Chocolate Chips

Crust:

  • 1 sleeve Graham Crackers (8 full crackers), crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened

Filling:

  • 3 oz Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
  • 8 Tbsp Salted Butter

Frosting:

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 Cup Granulate Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Make the filling first. In a small sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate over medium heat. As soon as all the chocolate has melted remove from heat. Mix well and let chill in the fridge while you prepare the cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until you have well incorporated the butter and the crumbs slightly stick together when pressed.

Line your cupcake pan with paper liners. Press the graham crackers in the bottom of the liners. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool while mixing the cupcake batter.

To make the cupcakes add the cake mix and pudding into a stand mixer and mix on low. Add oil and milk. Mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Mix well for 2 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips. It’s very important to make sure that the sides of the bowl are scraped down because if the batter isn’t evenly mixed your cupcakes will have inconsistent texture and bake.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before filling and frosting.

Remove the filling from the fridge and scrape it out into a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat it for about 2 minutes until it has become light and creamy. Use a piping bag and filling tip to fill the cupcakes with the chocolate mixture.

To make the frosting.

In a double boiler or place your metal stand mixer bowl over a medium pot with a few inches of water. Add eggs, sugar, salt and cream of tartar into the bowl. Over a medium heat whisk together the ingredients. It will start to turn syrupy. Once your mixture reaches between 120 and 140 degrees remove from heat. Using a hand mixer or your stand mixer beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Make sure that your peaks don’t move at all. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat for an extra 30 seconds.

Pick your favorite piping tip and move frosting into a piping bag. Pipe onto the cupcakes. Lightly toast with a kitchen torch.

Angelic Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


What is your favorite pie? I’ve been on a kick lately that I want to make my favorite pies or cakes into cupcakes so that I can easily share them. Lemon Meringue is absolutely my favorite pie. I mean basically any dessert with lemon in it and I am sold!

During the summer my favorite dessert is a slice of Angel Food cake topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries and blackberries and whipped cream. Yum! So naturally I decided to combine these two and make a super delicious cupcake to share with all my friends at work!


When you try this recipe get ready to whip some eggs! Whipped egg whites will give you that light, fluffy, airy and fun dessert! One of my favorite things about this recipe was that I could make parts of it and then assemble it all on a different day.  The lemon curd can be made and stored days in advance. I usually like to use Meyer lemons when I bake, but this time I had to use regular lemons because they were big and beautiful and the Meyer lemons were looking kinda sad.

Makes 30 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Lemon Curd

  • 4 Large Meyer Lemons, juiced (should be about 1/2 cup) and zested
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cubed

Angel Food Cupcake:

  • 12 Egg Whites, room temperature (they will whip faster)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar, split
  • 1 Cup Cake Flour, sifted. This will help you really get that light and fluffy perfect angel food texture.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Emulsion or 1/2 tsp extract

Meringue Topping:

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

To make the curd:

In a small dish stir together the sugar and lemon zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are looking for a very smooth jelly consistency then push the curd through a mesh sieve.

Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature.

Store in the fridge.

To make the cupcake:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a stand mixer whip your egg whites on a medium speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. When you can remove the whisk and the peaks will stay in place you know that you are there. Beat in the cream of tartar, salt and the vanilla and lemon. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup sugar.

Using a spatula gently fold in the dry mix. I saw a technique that shows in a cingular motion running the spatula all around the edge of the bowl and then directly through the center. This helps keep the eggs light and airy and full incorporate the dry ingredients.

Fill  cupcake liners with the batter until they are almost full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake bounces back when you lightly press on it. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To make the meringue:

In a double boiler or place your metal stand mixer bowl over a pan with a few inches of water. Add all ingredients into the bowl. Over a medium heat whisk together the ingredients. It will start to turn syrupy. Once your mixture reaches between 120 and 140 degrees remove from heat. Using a hand mixer or your stand mixer beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Make sure that your peaks don’t move at all. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pick your favorite piping tip and move frosting into a piping bag.

To assemble cupcakes:

Using a filling tip add the lemon curd into a piping bag. Gently fill each cupcake with the lemon curd. Generously pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Using a kitchen torch gently brown the meringue. It is so fun to watch it slightly puff up and get that perfect golden brown!

I hope you give these a try….they are amazing and your friends and family will definitely appreciate it!