Thursday, August 15, 2013

Irn Bru Cupcakes

For the cakes:
125g plain flour (sieved)
125g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 egg
125ml buttermilk (or regular milk with a squirt of lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter
85ml Irn Bru

Makes 12 cupcakes

What to do:
First pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C (fan oven)/Gas mark 4, then line a cupcake tin with cases. So far, so easy. Now get yourself a large bowl and mix together the flour, sugar, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Next get a pan and gently heat the butter and Irn Bru on the hob until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat.

Next, get your buttermilk ready in a measuring jug. If you can’t find, or don’t have any buttermilk, use regular milk instead, add a squirt of lemon juice and leave for five minutes. Beat the egg and vanilla extract into the milk. Once you’ve done that, add the butter mixture and the egg mixture to the dry ingrediants and combine with a wooden spoon. I also added some orange food colouring paste at this point to enhance the colour, but it’s not essential. Now spoon the mixture into the cases, dividing it evenly between all 12.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. All ovens vary, so you might want to check on the cakes after ten minutes (without opening the oven door). They should be ready once they’ve risen and are firm but slightly springy to touch. If you want, you can double-check by inserting a skewer or cocktail stick into the centre of one of the cakes. If it comes out clean, they’re ready, if it’s covered in wet cake mixture, then they need longer. Once done, take the pan out of the oven and leave to stand for five minutes. After that, transfer the cakes to a cooling rack.

Once the cakes are completely cooled, you can ice with blue icing.

Pork/Apple/Cheese Burgers

  • 500g extra lean pork mince
  • 1 dessert apple, grated
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil or chives, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried herbs)
  • 1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Ciabatta, salad and tomato relish to serve
  1. Put the pork mince, apple, cheese and herbs in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Add the breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper and mix again so the breadcrumbs are evenly distributed. 
  2. Split the mixture into 5 evenly sized balls and flatten to make a burger shape. Put on a plate, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking. 
  3. Grill or BBQ the burgers for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Serve on ciabatta with salad and tomato relish.