Mini hamburger cupcakes

Mini hamburger cupcakes

For these cupcakes I like to use mini whoopie pie tins as they are the perfect shape for burger buns and beef patties. For larger cakes you could use regular whoopie pie tins.

Ingredients for the burger buns (vanilla butter cake):

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 150g butter, cubed
  • 55ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • Butter for greasing

Ingredients for the beef patties (chocolate cake):

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 75g butter, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • Butter for greasing

Ingredients (for decoration):

  • 6 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • Red, yellow and green food colouring
  • Sheet of yellow fondant
  • Sesame seeds

Method for the burger buns (vanilla butter cake):

  1. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease the whoopie pie tins.
  3. Place the self-raising flour, plain flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix on low speed with an electric beater for 30 seconds or until just combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is thick and the butter is combined.
  5. Using a spoon or a piping bag, drop small amounts into each of the whoopie pie sections. Spread if necessary so the filling fills the space and is slightly hollow/sunken.
  6. Bake until the little cakes are just golden (approx. 5 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven and turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Method for the beef patties (chocolate cake):

  1. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease the whoopie pie tins.
  3. Combine sugar, butter, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes or until mixture doubles. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Add flour and eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until pale and smooth.
  5. Using a spoon or a piping bag, drop small amounts into each of the whoopie pie sections (make half as many chocolate cakes as you did vanilla). Spread if necessary so the filling fills the space and is slightly hollow/sunken.
  6. Bake until the little cakes have risen slightly (approx. 5 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven and turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Method (to assemble the burger and decorate):

  1. Mix 2 cups of the sifted icing sugar with just enough water to make a thick icing. You want a dark bright green colour, so add at least 6 drops of green food colouring. Add more if necessary, until you have reached a ‘lettuce’ colour.
  2. Use a ruffle, basket-weave or specialty tip when piping the lettuce. Fill the piping bag with the icing, take half the cooled vanilla whoopie pies, and ice them just around the edge using jagged motions to achieve the ruffled edge appearance of lettuce. After each one, while the icing is still wet, quickly add one of the chocolate whoopie pies on top to sandwich the ‘lettuce’ between the ‘bun’ and the ‘beef patty’.
  3. Get the yellow sheet of fondant and cut out tiny right-angled triangles, to make four points of ‘cheese’. On four sides of the chocolate whoopie pie, add a drop of green icing (to serve as glue) and stick one of the fondant triangles to each drop (right-angle corner point out).
  4. Mix 2 cups of the sifted icing sugar with just enough water to make a thick icing. You want a bright yellow colour, so add at least 3 drops of yellow food colouring. Add more if necessary, until you have reached a yellow colour similar to the fondant.
  5. Using a clean piping bag with round tip, filled with the yellow icing, join the four yellow triangles to complete the ‘cheese’ square.
  6. Mix 2 cups of the sifted icing sugar with just enough water to make a thick icing. You want a bright red colour, so add at least 4 drops of red food colouring. Add more if necessary, until you have reached a vibrant ‘tomato’ colour.
  7. Using another clean piping bag with a round tip, pipe the red icing between the yellow points to look like tomato slices. It doesn’t matter if the icing dribbles a little bit (it will look like tomato sauce), as long as you cover any consistencies with the yellow fondant and icing that may be visible after the top ‘bun’ is added.
  8. After each one, while the icing is still wet, quickly add the final vanilla whoopie pies on top to sandwich the ‘cheese’ and ‘tomato’ between the ‘beef patty’ and the ‘bun’.
  9. Take a small amount of sesame seeds, and press them onto the top of each bun.

Here is a diagram to help you assemble the cupcakes:

Assembling the hamburger cupcakes

Voilà! Beautiful mini hamburger cupcakes!

Shrimp scampi

Shrimp scampi

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 500g large tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tabs butter
  • 2 tabs olive oil

  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup sauvignon blanc (or any white wine)
  • 1 lemon

  • 6 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 250g angel hair pasta

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Method:

  1. Bring water to the boil; have it ready for pasta.
  2. Heat olive oil and melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and cook for two or three minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  4. Add shrimp, then stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add wine, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Stir and reduce heat to low.
  5. Throw angel hair pasta into the boiling water. Cook until al dente (just done) and drain.
  6. Remove skillet from heat; add pasta and toss.
  7. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Top with the parmesan and chives and serve immediately.

Chocolate and coconut slice (no-bake)

Chocolate and coconut slice

Ingredients (base):
  • 400g of plain chocolate biscuits
  • 75ml coconut oil
Ingredients (filling):
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar
  • 50g copha
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
Ingredients (topping):
  • 180g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 25ml coconut oil
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
Method:
  1. Grease a slice pan (approx 20cm x 25cm). Line pan with baking paper, allowing 3cm overhang on all sides.
  2. Process biscuits until they are finely chopped. Add butter and process until just combined. Spread mixture over the base of the pan, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the filling, place icing sugar, copha and coconut milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Stir in essence and desiccated coconut. Using a spatula, spread mixture over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  4. To make the topping, place milk chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth.
  5. Spread the milk chocolate mixture over the filling. Spoon the white chocolate into a snap-lock bag and snip off one corner. Pipe lines vertically over the milk chocolate. Drag a skewer horizontally through the lines, approximately 2 inches apart. Now horizontally drag the skewer between those lines, this time in the opposite direction, to create a marbled effect.
  6. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  7. Remove from the fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!