As you know, the John Ross Jr team likes to focus on some of the UK’s many national awareness days and, wherever possible, provide its own take on them.
In the past we’ve covered National BBQ Week, National Fish and Chip Week and, arguably the most natural fit, National Sandwich Week.
So when we found out that it’s National Cupcake Week this week (19 – 25 September) we couldn’t resist the temptation to explore the unlikely connection between cupcakes and smoked salmon – and it didn’t take long to find one.
Before we reveal it, National Cupcake Week was launched to promote the rapidly growing popularity of cupcakes in order to help British bakers boost sales. It also exists alongside the National Cupcake Championships, which are now in their eighth year.
Whether or not these recipes are competition winners, we’ll let you decide, but we couldn’t let a smoked salmon cupcake recipe pass us (or you) by.
Dill and lemon cupcakes with smoked salmon icing
Our first impression was probably the same as yours when we first came across this in The Telegraph, which was ‘smoked salmon icing!?’ However it’s important that we make it clear that this is a savoury recipe – and a delicious one at that.
Serving: 24 cupcakes
(For the cupcake)
- 360g plain flour
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 eggs (medium)
- 2 pots of natural yoghurt
- 10 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 bunches of dill, finely chopped
- Juice and zest of two lemons
(For the icing)
- 300g John Ross Jr traditional smoked salmon (plus extra for garnish)
- 200g crème fraîche
- Cracked black pepper
- Fresh dill (save some from the two bunches) for garnish
Heat an oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Take two 12-hole muffin tins and line them with cases.
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and all the other cupcake ingredients until combined. Divide the mixture, fill each case and bake for 30 minutes (or until you know they’re done). Place on a wire rack to cool.
Whilst they’re cooling, mix (in – or with – a food processor) the smoked salmon, crème fraîche and black pepper until a smooth consistency. Spoon into a piping bag with a suitably sized nozzle and pipe the mixture onto the cooled cake in any design or shape you like.
Then garnish each cake with a sprig of dill and a thin smoked salmon slice.
Lemon Rosemary Smoked Salmon Cupcake
With this Food Network smoked salmon recipe we’re becoming a little more adventurous in as much as it’s a sweet dish. Still, pushing the boundaries didn’t do Heston Blumenthal any harm.
Serving: 30 cupcakes
(For the cake)
- 325g all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves, ground, plus more for garnish
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 250g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
(For the filling)
- 450g mascarpone
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Zest of two lemons
- 200g John Ross Jr smoked salmon, finely chopped
(For the frosting)
- 900g cream cheese
- 2 cups of whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon concentrated chicken stock
- A bunch of chives, chopped
- Zest of 1 large lemon
Heat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius and find enough muffin pans to bake 30 cakes.
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, rosemary, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and eggs until fully blended. Add the oil and vanilla and beat for a minute. Gradually add the flour mixture, the buttermilk and the lemon mixture. Divide the batter amongst the cups, lining each one ¾ full. Bake for around 20 minutes or until cooked then place on a wire rack to cool.
To make the filling, whip the mascarpone and then add the lemon juice and zest. Mix in the smoked salmon. Place in a piping bag and refrigerate until you’re ready to pipe.
Now for the frosting. Whip together the cream cheese, cream and stock until light and fluffy. Add a handful of chives and place into a separate piping bag.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, pull out the centres with a cupcake corer and fill with the smoked salmon mixture. Then pipe the frosting onto the cupcake and garnish with the lemon zest, the rosemary pieces and a slice of rolled smoked salmon.
We’d love to know your thoughts on this one – or even if you’ve been adventurous enough to make it. Let us know via our Facebook Page or via @JRJsmokedsalmon on Twitter.