Tried out a new recipe yesterday for Raspberry Pavlova Cupcakes (inspired by Ruby's delicious pavlovas ... and some raspberries that needed eating up). I made the meringues in advance so that I could crumble some into the cakes - made some with and some without - but there was really no discernable difference in texture, so it probably isn't worth the effort (or waste of meringue!)
For the cakes
120g butter, softened
120g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
120g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
100g fresh raspberries
For the meringues
2 egg whites
110g caster sugar
150ml double cream
30g icing sugar
3tbspn creme fraiche
Before you start: the meringue mix makes way more than enough mini meringues to top 12 cakes (see photo below), but I just can't really whisk 1 egg white in my massive mixer. By all means try, or omit the meringues all together if you just want a raspberry cupcake. Otherwise the meringues will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container and I'm sure they'll come in for something!
Preheat oven to 180c/160fan/350f. Put large cupcake cases in a 12-hole muffin tin.
Usual method for the cake - beat softened butter and sugar together, slowly add beaten egg and vanilla, beat, beat, beat until you can beat no more. Add sifted flour and baking powder and beat quickly, taking care not to overmix. Chuck in the raspberries and give it a quick mix through, leaving some chunky bits of raspberry.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the cakes are cooking start on your meringues. Line two baking trays with greaseproof or parchment.
Whisk the egg whites until very stiff. Continue whisking on a high speed, slowly adding all of the sugar (a tsp at a time is recommended for the best meringues). The mixture should be smooth and glossy. Pipe small meringue shapes onto the baking trays. These will sit for a little while waiting for the oven to be ready (though maybe don't risk it if it's too hot in the kitchen).
Once your cakes are cooked, reduce oven temperature to 110c/90fan/230f. When the oven is at the right temperature put in your meringues and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour (it's worth turning the trays half way through for a more even bake).
When you're ready to eat your cakes, whip the double cream until firm, beat in the icing sugar. Once well combined, mix in the creme fraiche. Pipe cream mix in a circle on the cakes and top with a meringue.
The meringues will lose their crispiness in 1-2 hours once sat on top of the cream, and the fresh cream won't last long in a warm environment, so this isn't a great recipe for preparing in advance. (nb the cakes will become dry if you put them in the fridge, so I wouldn't choose that option either.) Hey, they'll still be nice to eat!