Special equipment: Standard 12 (1/2 cup) muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.
While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin (about 1/3 cup batter per cup cake.)
Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.
For Meringue: Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a mixer's bowl above the water. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice and zest, cream of tarter and salt in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until meringue is cool and holds a soft peak, about 5 minutes. Add a few drops of desired food coloring and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks.
To decorate: Using a spoon, offset spatula or piping bag, dollop, spread or pipe meringue on top of each cupcake. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks and valleys in the cupcake as desired.
Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved
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