My Crazy Cupcake Adventure — Nightsiders
In a future world of extreme climate change, Perth, Western Australia’s capital city, has been abandoned. Most people were evacuated to the East by the late ’30s and organised infrastructure and services have gone.
A few thousand obstinate and independent souls cling to the city and to the southern towns. Living mostly by night to endure the fierce temperatures, they are creating a new culture in defiance of official expectations. A teenage girl stolen from her family as a child; a troupe of street actors who affect their new culture with memories of the old; a boy born into the wrong body; and a teacher who is pushed into the role of guide tell the story of The Nightside.
Nightsiders by Sue Isle is a collection of four stories set in a post apocalyptic Perth. It’s a world where the sun is vicious, and the few remaining residents move around at night time in order to survive.
When I was trying to determine what kind of cupcake would embody Nightsiders, I automatically went to lemon, because of the sun, but I wasn’t quite happy with that as a choice, because it felt too fresh, which I didn’t think represented the feel…not the writing isn’t fresh, it is. It’s n awesome book! Rather it was the whole “lemon fresh” thing I had an issue with. Until I realised that making Scorched Lemon Meringue Cupcakes would be perfect.
I have a very easy, basic cupcake recipe that works well as the base, and as an added bonus it’s gluten-free.
First I made the mini cupcakes. In pretty yellow pans, because, you know, I believe it’s important to keep everything colour coordinated where possible.
I use a water bottle to pour into the pans, rather that getting cake batter *everywhere*. One day, I will buy myself a Cupcake Pen, but in the meantime this works a treat.
Next step is obviously the oven – this recipe is great because it’s so quick and easy to make and cook.
Hollow out the centre with a melon baller:
Then it’s time for the filling. When we did the Twelfth Planet Press hour at Natcon, I used a bought lemon curd, but my preference is to use some of Granny’s Lemon Butter, because it’s so lemony. And, it’s hard to beat the fresh, home made stuff, plus a filling made with Perth lemons is kind of appropriate for a Perth based story.
So, I had to make the Lemon Butter following Granny’s Secret Recipe:
Which went into the cupcake centres:
Followed by a very simple meringue topping:
And then comes the fun part! BLOWTORCHING:
And the finished result :
And I have to say – making these in my own kitchen, with a bench, and a table, and a mixer – SO MUCH EASIER!