Burger Cupcakes

Cupcakes are awesome. And the only way to make them even better, is to do something silly with them. It’s been too long to remember where I first saw a picture of a burger cupcake (which, admittedly, looked much more real than mine do), but I absolutely loved the idea. And since I was invited to a kids’ themed (2)6th birthday party recently, I thought it would only be appropriate to make some.

Burger Cupcakes

For the buns:

Ingredients (makes 12 buns)

100 gr butter
100 gr caster sugar
100 gr flour
2 eggs*
1/4 tsp baking powder
a drop of vanilla essence

*2 medium eggs are roughly 100 gr – when I want to be accurate, I crack my eggs, weigh them, and then add the same amount of sugar, butter and flour.

This is just the standard cupcake recipe so proceed in your favourite way! I cream butter and sugar, and then add everything else and mix using a whisk, until the mix is homogeneous. If you’re using cupcake cases for these, you want some with smooth sides. Or just butter and flour the cupcake tin and forget about the cases. Bake in a preheated (180 degree) oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the burgers:

Ingredients (makes 12 burgers)

120 gr dark chocolate
90 gr butter
90 gr caster sugar
a splash of whiskey (or other booze you fancy)
3 eggs
60 gr ground almonds
2 tbsp flour

Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan, add the sugar and alcohol and mix. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and add them to the chocolate mix. Finally, incorporate the ground almond and flour. Spoon the mix into a buttered and floured cupcake tin (for 12 cupcakes). Bake in a preheated (180 degree oven) for about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. They will look tiny. They’re supposed to look tiny.

For the cheese slices:

Take a sheet of golden (yellow) marzipan, dust it with icing sugar and roll it out as thin as you can without breaking it. Cut 12 squares.

For the ketchup:

Ingredients

100 gr butter, softened
icing sugar, to taste
red food colouring

Whisk the butter with the sugar until smooth and soft. Remember that the marzipan will be quite sweet, so you might want a bit less sugar in your icing than usual. Add enough food colouring to make it look like ketchup.

To assemble:

Cut the (cooled down) buns in two. Pop a burger on the bottom half of the bun. Top with a cheese slice and spread with ketchup. Stay away from ex-McDonald’s workers who might have strong opinions about the correct procedure of burger-making. Enjoy!

On another subject, I have finally bought my own domain, so now you can find my blog at www.kitchen22.co.uk, if you don’t fancy typing that extra blogspot bit. Old links should hopefully redirect fine – please let me know if you notice something wrong!

Hazelnut and Nutella Cupcakes

You know you’ve had enough of working when you find yourself day-dreaming about food. It happens to me way too often, which makes me wonder whether I’m rubbish at what I do or just love food a bit too much. Probably a bit of both. Anyway, today I got thinking about baking and chocolate and since my favourite chocolate (by far!) is praline, the Hazelnut and Nutella cupcake was born!

These are the most amazingly nutty cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. And they’re gluten-free. And like all cupcakes, really really easy to make. The recipe I was aiming for was the simple cupcake recipe with half the amount of flour substituted with ground hazelnuts. Maths got a bit complicated when I realised that the gluten-free cake flour I was using contained sugar.

Hazelnut and Nutella Cupcakes

Ingredients (for approximately 16 cupcakes)

3 large eggs
6oz butter
6oz sugar
3oz flour (if your flour mix contains sugar like my gluten-free one, reduce the amount of extra sugar appropriately- I only added 3oz of sugar rather than 6)
3oz ground hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
nutella for filling

I like doing my cakes without using a food processor or a hand mixer since I find they become fluffy enough if you just hand-whisk them. And there is less to wash up. So, I softened my butter, added the sugar and mixed it into a uniform paste with a wooden spoon. Next, I added basically all the remaining ingredients (dry ones first, although it probably made no difference) and whisked until smooth.

The idea with the Nutella was to have a little drop of it sitting in the middle of the cupcake, so I put half of the mix for each cupcake in the cases, topped it with a little spoonful of Nutella and then added some more cake mix on top of it. It didn’t work as well as I would have wanted, so maybe I needed to dilute the Nutella with something (milk? cream?) to make it less dense and force it to stay liquid even after baking. Any ideas welcome! Having said that, the flavour was amazing and I really had to stop myself from eating them all before managing to get a photo!

I’m sure you can do similar things using different types of nuts, but I like the matching hazelnut-nutella combo and I find that, although almond is nice, it is not strong enough. Here, the hazelnut taste was coming clearly from the whole cupcake, rather than just the nutella centre (ok, bottom).

I couldn’t find any ground hazelnut so I got some whole roasted ones and put them through the food processor. Apparently, if you do that with a bit of sugar it stops them from getting too greasy and forming lumps. I only found out about that when it was too late. It was still fine and I think it turned out nuttier that it would have done if I had used ready-ground ones, because of all the juices they released.

I’m definitely becoming more of a baking fan, and I’d like to think that I am getting better at it too. I try and bake gluten-free whenever I can, because of my friend Aimee, and in most cases you honestly can’t tell the difference. I “cheat” by using a flour mix, which includes all the essentials for gluten-free baking, like xanthan gum and I also find that using a bit of ground nuts helps with texture.

I also had my first successful loaf of bread baked today and I might post a few pictures if I can get over the fact that the lighting is horrible. That’s what happens when your kitchen is a basement and you mostly cook in the evenings! I’m not a very patient person either, which means I will not spend ages trying to get the perfect picture, especially when the food smells so good! And I clearly lack the equipment which means I have to deal with a lot of rejection from sites like Tastespotting or Foodgawker (but not Tastestopping)! Wait, what do you mean they don’t reject anyone?