Citrus-scented, Cheese Cupcake with Lemon Curd and Chocolate Curls

By • June 9, 2011 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Dessert trucks became a “hot stuff” in many major cities in the US. Pastry chefs operate some of the trucks and some purchase the sweets from restaurants, then hit the road to sell the goodies. What I understand from reading is that the major problem these trucks are experiencing is parking space. It is too bad, because people love their stuff, but find it hard to find them.

Although currently I am not in New York, I still remember having unbelievably delicious crème brulee from a truck named: “Dessert Truck”. I had other sweets from this truck and most were amazingly good. I never thought a truck could have a setup for serving warm molten chocolate cake (which is BTW absolutely out of this world), or warm chocolate bread pudding with bacon custard sauce along with a highly aromatic cappuccino.

Jerome Chang, a former pastry chef at the famous Le Cirque restaurant, manages the Dessert Truck. Jerome serves real high quality desserts at a reasonable price in paper and foil cups. I do not think that even top restaurants serve better crème bulee then Jerome does (the only difference is that restaurants do not serve their desserts in paper cups).

The cheesecake, however, created with a combination of Philadelphia cream cheese and goat cheese could use a little improvement. It is definitely not their best creation; so I decided to give it a try and make my own. Perhaps, if successful, they may borrow the recipe from me?
georgetteg

Makes 16 cupcakes, but depends on the size

Crust Base

  • 5 ounces Graham crackers with real honey
  • 2 ounces Pecans
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet (unsalted) butter
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated sugar
  • 0.5 teaspoons Table salt

The Fillling

  • 24 ounces Farmer Cheese (3 packages)
  • 4 ounces Goat cheese
  • 1 piece Lemon zest
  • 0.5 cups Fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 4 pieces Large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 piece Large egg yolk
  • 0.5 cups Heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups Baker's sugar
  • 0.5 pieces Vanilla bean (content scraped into the heavy cream)
  • 2 tablespoons Sour cream
  • 0.5 teaspoons Table salt
  1. METHOD I. Crust Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325F degrees Prepare a muffin/cupcake bake ware with silicon cups (that is what I do for a foolproof method and the look is attractive too); but you can use cupcake liners of your preference Toast the pecans for 10 minutes; mixing and turning them during half-time Cool the pecans on a rack then process them in a Food Processor to fine, even crumbs (you should use about 3 ounces for the base) Process the crackers in the Food Processor, to fine, even crumbs (you should use about 5 ounces for the base) Pour both crumbs into a clean bowl and mix them well Add the sugar and mix well to incorporate Melt the butter Pour the warm, melted butter into the crumb mix and mix the mixture until it is evenly moistened and resembles wet sand Place two tablespoon of the mixture into each of the prepared silicone cups and press it firmly to the bottom and as much as you can to the sides (you can use a small measuring cup to assist you in the pressing of the crumbs). Bake until golden brown (about 10 minutes) Cool on a wire rack to room temperature (about 30 minutes) When cooled, set the pan as is (with the baked crumbs in the silicon cups) into a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with warm water so that it is about half the height of the muffin/cupcake pan.
  2. THE FILLING Zest the lemon Squeeze the lemons (measure out 1/2 cup juice for use) Cut the vanilla bean into half and scrape the content with the blunt side of the knife into the heavy cream Warm the cream in a non-reactive pan to the point of boil, then move the pan off the heat source and let it rest until use Process a quarter cup sugar and lemon zest with a wooden spoon until the zest is absorbed completely into the sugar and makes the sugar moist, and pale yellow in color. Stir into the sugar mixture the rest of the sugar (1 cup) Process the farmer- and goat cheese in the Food Processor until the cheese will resemble cream cheese (It my take up to 5 minutes) Place the cheese mixture into the Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl, add the sugar/lemon zest mixture in a slow, steady stream while using the paddle; increase the speed to medium and continue to beat the mixture until it is creamy and smooth, scraping down the bowl sides with a rubber spatula, as needed. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and add the eggs, 2 at a time; beat the mixture until the eggs are incorporated. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl well, after each addition. Add the lemon juice and salt and mix until just incorporated Add the heavy cream with the vanilla, and mix until just incorporated Give the batter a final scrap, stir with a rubber spatula to make sure that there are no lumps in the batter Pour the cheese mixture into each of the silicon cups (leave about 1/8 inch at the top) Increase the temperature in the oven to 350F The first 15 minutes place a wooden spoon in the door of the oven (the oven door will remain open); Then take away the spoon, close the oven door and bake the cupcakes for another 20 minutes (but you may need to check earlier, because the timing depends on your oven) The cupcake is done when the center jiggles slightly, the sides just start to puff, the surface is not shiny and the instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the cake registers 150F degree Turn off the oven and prop open the oven door with the handle of the wooden spoon; allow the cupcake to cool in the water bath in the oven for 1 hour Take out the pan after 1 hour, and place it on a wire rack and continue to let it cool for 2 more hours
  3. The Lemon Curd Heat the lemon juice in small non-reactive saucepan over a medium heat, until hot, but not boiling Whisk the eggs and the egg yolk in a medium non-reactive bowl and gradually whisk in the sugar Whisking constantly then slowly pour the warm lemon juice into the egg mixture and then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, while stirring constantly with a rubber spoon, until the mixture register 170F degrees on an instant-read thermometer and thick enough to cling to the spoon Immediately remove pan from the heat source and stir the butter into the mixture until incorporated Stir in the vanilla extract and salt Pour the curd through a fine mash strainer to assure that there are no lumps in the curve, into a small non-reactive bowl Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed
  4. ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKE When the cheese cupcake is cool, take about a heaping tablespoon of the curd and spread it on top of each of the cheese-cupcake refrigerate at least for 4 hours or over night To serve, remove the silicon cup and place the cupcakes on a serving plate (you could also remove the silicon cup prior to placing the lemon curd on the top of the cupcake, but I believe it iseasier to work with the cupcake while it is with the silicon cup Take a vegetable peeler and drop a few chocolate curls on top of of the lemon curd
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