I didn't do the "touristy" stuff as I had done that many years ago. I stuck mainly to the suburbs but did go into the city on a weekday. Unfortunately that day happened to rain and the skies were really gloomy. So you could have called it a "wet experience". The rest of the week was good and sunny, by Melbourne standards, temperatures ranging from a high of 21C to a low of 14C. It is nearing the end of autumn, with winter coming round the corner. So it gets dark by 6:00pm.
I popped into the local supermarket, Coles, on several occassions as it was just a 10min walk away. Coles has an amazing range of produces with fresh cuts of meats of all varieties, vegetables, fruits, cheeses and a whole lot more of stuff which would probably take 4 pages to list out. Take a simple produce, for example eggs which we take for granted. At Coles the eggs are labelled "caged eggs" and "free range eggs" and comes in different grammes per egg. The difference in price differs a fair bit as well. Free range eggs cost about 3.5 times more than caged eggs. By labelling the eggs as such it gives the end consumers a right to make concientious choice when buying their produces. Whilst at Coles I managed to buy a bunch of fresh rhubard (in fact I was actually on the look out for it) and hope to experiment with it this coming weekend. I have never had a rhubard before so this would be really interesting. I will post the end results for sure!
I thought it was somewhat befitting to post this particular Lemon Meringue Cupcake recipe as it was first featured in Australia Junior Masterchef. If you have not watched this show as yet, what are you waiting for. You will surely be amazed by the amount of talent shown by these young cooks, some as young as eight years old.
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Recipe Adapted from Australian Junior Masterchef series
Ingredients for the Cupcakes:
1 cup pure cream
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Lemon Curd Filling:
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of cornflour/cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of cold water 3 to 4 lemons, the juice and finely grated zest
3 egg yolks, beaten
50g unsalted butter
To make the Lemon Curd Filling:
1) Place the sugar, cornflour, cold water and finely grated zest in a medium-sized saucepan.
2) Over a gentle flame heat the curd, stirring continuously until it begins to thicken.
3) Add the beaten eggs and butter and continue to heat and stir through until very thick.
4) Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, adding more to taste as desired.
3 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar
To make the Meringue:
1) In a very clean and large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites. Whisk until soft peaks form and then gradually add in the sugar a little at a time until the meringue is thick, smooth and glossy and all of the sugar has dissolved.
Method for the Cupcakes:
1) Preheat oven to 180'C. Place 12 patty cake liners in a 12 hole 1/2-cup capacity muffin pan.
2) Place cream, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add flour and zest and continue whisking until mixture is thick and smooth.
3) Divide mixture between prepared liners and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cakes spring back to touch. Cool in muffin pan.
4) To serve, preheat grill to medium-high. Cut a small hole in the top of each cupcake and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon curd. Pipe a swirl of meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake and place under heated grill for 60-90 seconds or until golden.