Foodie Friday – Healthier Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Foodie Friday – Healthier Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Soft lemon cake filled with lemon curd and topped with swirling meringue – don’t they look delicious! They’re not your average cupcakes though, these substitute some ingredients for healthier, more unusual alternatives.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes 2

Dairy free, gluten free, nut free and vegan!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200 g (7 oz) gluten-free plain (all-purpose) our
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 150 g (51⁄2 oz) rapadura sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 250 ml (81⁄2 oz/1 cup) rice milk, room temperature
  • 80 g (23⁄4 oz) unsweetened apple- sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Lemon Curd

  • 125 ml (4 oz/1⁄2 cup) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 30 ml (1 oz) tinned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 60 ml (2 oz/1⁄4 cup) maple syrup

Meringue

  • 400 g (14 oz) tin salt-free chickpeas, chilled overnight
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 145 g (5 oz) caster (super fine) sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note – You can substitute the caster sugar
in the meringue with 145 g (5 oz) of rapadura sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of arrowroot starch. It will still work; however, it will produce a flatter meringue and a less airy texture.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan forced/340°F). Line a 12-hole standard muffin tin with silicone cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, corn flour, sugar and sea salt together. In a separate bowl mix 
the rice milk, apple sauce, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the wet mixture to the dry and 
fold through until just incorporated. Fill the cupcake liners until they are three-quarters full. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes before turning out, top- side up, onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the lemon curd, combine all the lemon curd ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium–high heat. Whisk continuously for 5–7 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Cut a deep hole in the top of each cooled cupcake with a small piping tip. Be careful not to cut through to the bottom of the cupcake. Fill each hole with lemon curd.

Drain the chickpeas and reserve 145 ml (5 oz) of chilled chickpea water (aquafaba) in a large glass or metal mixing bowl. You want the bowl to be completely clean and free of grease. You can use lemon juice to clean the bowl and rinse before use. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the chickpea aquafaba and cream of tartar on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Continue mixing and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until it’s incorporated. Once all the sugar is added continue whisking for a further minute. Add the vanilla and whisk for another 30 seconds.

Spoon the meringue into a piping (icing) bag with a large star-shaped nozzle and pipe it onto the cupcakes. Place under a preheated grill (broiler) until lightly golden, or use a small blowtorch to brown them.

Serve immediately and enjoy! Makes 12

The Healthy Convert by Nicole Maree (Hardie Grant, £14.99) Photography © Elisa Watson

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