Lemon lavender. It’s a flawless combination. It’s a Yankee candle, for god’s sake. Maybe it doesn’t have the richness, the addictive qualities of a combo like, say, peanut butter and chocolate; but it certainly deserves a spot in the top 10 cutest food couples. If peanut butter and chocolate are Jay-Z and Beyoncé, then lemon and lavender are the 80-year-old married couple approaching their 50th anniversary of peace and bliss.
In picking my cupcake flavor for the ice cream cupcake contest, I was tempted to go the predictable big and bold and chocolaty route. Pile on the chocolate, and you will impress nearly anyone. But what if I took a risk and picked a less obvious flavor? Well, let’s see what Avril Lavigne has to say.
|Very insightful. source|
Ah! That was all the motivation I needed. And here I am, tray of lemon lavender ice cream cupcakes in hand.
|These cupcakes are getting 8...if you know what I mean.|
These cupcakes combine four distinct components: lemon cake, lavender ice cream, white chocolate shell (not entirely vegan because of the dairy in the white chocolate, but there are dairy-free solutions out there I swear to god), and candied lemons. The white chocolate topping hardens on contact with the cold ice cream, providing a seal that keeps your ice cream scoops on the cake and the candied lemon slices on top of the ice cream. It all works out quite well. You get a variety of textures here as well—the rich pound cake-esque cake, the creamy ice cream, the crunchy white chocolate, and the chewy candied lemon. A true culinary experience.
As a side note: see that lemon slice? Yeah, it’s shitty. The lemons where I live are awful, with super-thick rinds and barely any juice. Candying them helps, but they’re still sub-par. I don’t really have anything to add to that; I just wanted to complain.
|It's a hard-knock life, I guess.|
Overall, I think these cupcakes encapsulate pretty well that elegant, floral lavender-lemon flavor. The white chocolate shell goes perfectly, a nice sweet finish to a subtle flavor combination. Not to mention it’s pretty damn cool how it hardens seconds after being poured on the ice cream. Science, man. Crazy stuff.
|Yeah! Science, bitch!|
Okay, I’m done talking. Here’s the recipe.
Lemon lavender ice cream cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Lemon cakes (adapted from these blondies)
272 grams • all-purpose flour • 2 cups
300 grams • granulated sugar • 1 1/2 cups
10 grams • salt • 1 1/2 teaspoons
9 grams • baking soda • 1 1/2 teaspoons
100 grams • nondairy yogurt • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
112 grams • coconut oil, melted • 1/2 cup
60 grams • fresh lemon juice • 1/4 cup
Zest of two lemons
220 grams • silken tofu • 1 cup
White chocolate shell (adapted from Serious Eats)
125 grams • nondairy white chocolate, finely chopped • 4.4 ounces
112 grams • coconut oil • 1/2 cup
62 grams • corn syrup • 3 tablespoons
Candied lemons (adapted from this recipe)
200 grams • granulated sugar • 1/2 cup
240 grams • water • 1/2 cup
2 washed, unpeeled lemons sliced 1/4-inch thick
To make lemon cakes, start by preheating oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin tins.
Whisk together all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a blender, combine nondairy yogurt, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and silken tofu; blend until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir just until combined.
Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin tins. Bake for 18 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool in tins for half an hour before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill lemon cakes while you prepare the other components.
To prepare your lavender ice cream, scoop out nice spheres of softened ice cream onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze until needed.
To make white chocolate shell, simply combine white chocolate, coconut oil, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Stirring consistently, heat until 2/3 of the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
To make candied lemon, start by bringing sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves. Add lemon slices. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer gently until rinds are translucent, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in syrup.
With a slotted spoon, transfer lemons to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand to allow excess syrup to drip off.
When ready to assemble cupcakes, take out your lemon cakes and drizzle with a bit of white chocolate shell. Place a sphere of lavender ice cream on top. The white chocolate shell should solidify, sealing the ice cream to the cake. Drizzle some more white chocolate shell on top of the ice cream. Place a slice of candied lemon on top before the shell solidifies, sealing the lemon slice on top. Keep cupcakes frozen. When ready to eat, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so they're not rock-hard.
I’ll be entering this cupcake in the Cupcake Project’s ice cream cupcake contest, as you can probably tell. Check out the other entries too—there are some pretty impressive flavors!