TrueBlood. It all began with a book-as it usually does for me-Charlaine Harris’ Dead until Dark. Through the narration of the delightfully witty commonplace waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, Harris opens the closet door, outing all sorts of supernaturalism-vampires, weres, shifters, demons, fairies, witches, and mythical maenads. Definitely a Deadgirl kind of novel!
Then HBO came along and made it into a naughty Grindhouse-esque supernatural soap opera. Again, I’m not complaining as I’ve never been one to turn down a horror film just because of some sleazy exploitation, but really, the plotlines do mirror those typically found in The Young and The Restless.
My Screen Rant: My summers have become synonymous with another season of TrueBlood. This year, I’m glad to see we are over the dreadful lovesick Viking plotline with Eric Northman and back to some cool, calculated vampiric bloodshed. With the vampire Authority stepping up, rebel Russell Edgington eating himself back to health, and fiesty Tara reeking havoc as a freshly turned bloodsucker, things around Bon Temps are bound to get a bit…messy. And no amount of air-condition cranking can ever cool down the simmering antics of one Miss Sookie Stackhouse.
The Recipe: These lemon cupcakes are as sassy, luscious, and tart asLouisiana’s favorite fairy, Sookie Stackhouse. Miss Stackhouse is always full of delicious surprises, so of course I added a generous dose of homemade and hand-forged lemon curd to these unbelievably light treats. Cap them with an equally blond dose of lemony buttercream or leftover lemon curd and adorn with a fresh summer strawberry just ripe for the pickin, and you have the prettiest little dessert a Deadgirl could ever concoct.
Luscious Lemon Fairy Cupcakes
(makes 22-24 pretty pixies)
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter (soft as fairy skin)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ c milk
¼ c lemon juice or fresh juice from 2 lemons
Zest from 1 lemon
Lemon curd (recipe to follow)
Lemon Buttercream (optional)
Strawberries to garnish
Cupcake liners: lemon yellow, red and white checked, or other cutesy summer print-BLAH
How to Make Em:
Obligatory Reminder: Spray cupcake liners with non stick baking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Beat butter and sugar into creamy submission with your hand or stand mixer. I always use my hand mixer for that ultimately personal experience hehe!
2. Crack the eggs into the mix, one at a time, beating again after each addition.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, and milk. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, combine the boring stuff: cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Stir the dry boring ingredients into the creamed mix alternately with the lemony liquids. I always incorporate them with a rubber spatula for that hand-forged quality, but feel free to use your hand mixer or stand mixer again. Low to medium speed, please.
6. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake cavity about ¾ full for full figured buxom blond results and bake about 15-20 mins at 350 degrees.
Adorn: Dollop with lemon curd or pipe on the lemon buttercream frosting. Complete the look with a whole or sliced fresh strawberry. Eat up, bloodsuckers!
Hand-Forged Lemon Curd
(Fills 22-24 cupcakes; make a double batch if you are replacing curd for the frosting)
1/3 c sugar
3 Tbsp butter
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp lemon juice or fresh squeezed juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Wooden spoon, plastic wrap, bismark tip and pastry bag
How to Make It:
1. Add all the ingredients into a medium saucepan on your stovetop.
2. On low heat, use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until the sugar has disintegrated and the butter is completely melted.
3. Cook about 15 more minutes until the curd thickens. The mixture should coat the back of your spoon nicely without dripping off like oozing vampire skin scorched by the sun.
4. Allow the curd to cool slightly then fill your cupcakes with a bismark tip. The curd also acts as a lovely alternative to overly sweet buttercream frosting. Just remember to make a double batch!
5. To store leftover curd: add leftovers to a bowl and cover the surface of the curd with a piece of plastic wrap to avoid a yucky skin from forming.
Lemon ButterScream Frosting
(Caps 22-24 pretty pixies)
1 pound bag of powdered sugar + an extra cup or two
1 cup butter (soft like fairy skin)
½ tsp salt
¼-1/2 whipping cream
3 Tbsp lemon juice or the fresh squeezed juice from about 3 lemons
1 tsp lemon zest
How To Make It:
1. Beat the butter, salt, lemon juice, cream, and zest into creamy submission with your hand or stand mixer.
2. Slowly add the powdered sugar a cup at a time to the mix. I always start with a one pound bag on low-medium speed and then add more until I get the desired thickness I need to pipe on to my cupcakes.
3. After the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with your terrifically tart frosting. Adorn with a fresh ripe strawberry.