Catherine & Siúcra's Carrot & Orange Bunny Tail Cupcakes

Carrot and Orange Bunny Tail Cupcakes

 

Makes 12 medium cupcakes

 For the cupcakes

  • 120g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 70g grated carrots
  • 1 medium orange, zest and juice
  • 170g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 60ml milk

For the butter cream:

  • 180g butter, softened
  • 350g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Green colour paste

For the bunny tails

  • Siucra roll out icing
  • Pink colour paste
  • Edible glue
  • Disposable piping bag and a multi hole nozzle for piping the grass

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/Gas 4. Line a muffin tray with medium size cupcake cases.

To make the cupcakes
Place the caster, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixer and whisk for to 3 to 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Pour in the beaten eggs and whisk until just mixed. Add the grated carrots, orange zest and juice.
Fold in the flour and baking powder. Pour in most of the milk until a soft batter forms.
Using 2 spoons, neatly scoop the mixture into the cases and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes. They should be risen, golden brown and when a skewer is inserted into the middle it should come out clean. Allow to cool completely before decorating. The cupcakes should be level.

To make the buttercream
Cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a mixer. Add enough green colour for the grass.

To pipe
Spoon the buttercream into the piping bag fitted with a grass tip nozzle. Pipe the grass over the top of the cupcakes.

To make the bunny tails
Roll a piece of the Siucra roll out icing the size of a €2 coin into a ball and flatten one side – this is for the body and place it in the grass. Roll out a much smaller piece of Siucra roll out icing for the tail. Secure it on with a little edible glue.

Make two bunny feet
Small oval shapes. Colour a piece of Siucra roll out icing pink for the pads of the feet and make one a little larger than the other 3. Place them in position using edible glue. Now secure the feet into position as well. Repeat for all the other cupcakes.

      

Catherine & Siúcra's Savoury Easter Breakfast/Brunch

Savoury Easter Breakfast /Brunch 

Asparagus Brie Tart

Serves 4
For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp fine polenta
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Siucra caster sugar
  • 120g chilled butter, diced
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 1 egg
  • Chilled water, to bind

For the topping

  • 120g ricotta
  • 1 tbsp mixed chopped herbs, parsley with some thyme and a little rosemary
  • ½ lemon, zest only
  • 300g fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 200g brie, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Siucra icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed
  • Egg wash, to glaze
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sprig of dill or fennel, to garnish
  • Lemon zest, to garnish

To make the pastry
Place the plain flour, polenta, salt and Siucra caster sugar into your food processor.
Add the diced butter and lemon zest and pulse until the texture of breadcrumbs.
Add in the egg and enough cold water to form a stiff dough.
Wrap in parchment and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

To assemble
Roll the pastry out into a 25cm x 15cm rectangle on the parchment. Trim the edges and slide onto a baking tray.  
Mix the ricotta, herbs, lemon zest together and spread over the pastry, leaving a 1cm around the edge.
Trim the asparagus to the size of the pastry and place on top of the ricotta spread. Arrange the brie slices on top and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using a pastry brush, glaze the edge of the tart with egg wash and sprinkle over some sesame seeds.  
Dust lightly with the Siucra icing sugar and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 after 15 minutes of baking. The tart should be golden on the edges.
Garnish with dill or fennel sprigs and lemon zest to serve.

Catherine & Siúcra's Shamrock Cake

Shamrock St Patrick’s Day Cake

Serves 10 to 12
For the lemon lime curd

  • 2 limes, juice and zest
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 180g Siucra caster sugar
  • 120g butter
  • 4 egg yolks

For the cake

  • 180g Siucra caster sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 large eggs
  • 380g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml milk

For the butter cream:

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 550g Siucra icing sugar
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • Green food colouring
  • Black food colouring
  • Siucra roll out icing, to make shamrock cut outs and a leprechaun hat
  • Cut a 15cm heart shaped template from baking paper
  • A large cake board or wooden board
  • A piece of green or white ribbon for around the board (optional)

To make the curd, place all the ingredients into a saucepan over a low heat and stir most of the time until a thick curd forms. Remove and leave to cool completely.

For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan160°C/gas 4. Brush 3 x 18cm cake tins with melted butter and dust with flour.
Cream the Siucra caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Whisk in the beaten eggs one at a time.
Fold in the flour and baking powder. Add the milk and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the 3 cake tins and bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until golden and when a skewer is inserted into the middle it comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

To make the butter cream, place the butter, Siucra icing sugar and lime juice together and whisk until smooth, light and fluffy. Retain 5 generous tablespoonfuls of buttercream for sandwiching together. To make a pale green mix, add green colouring to the rest and whisk again until you’ve reached the colour you want. Remove about 4 tablespoonfuls and add another drop of the green food colouring and mix again. Retain this for piping rosettes later.

To assemble, place the heart shape template onto a cake and cut the shape. Slice the cake in half and repeat for the two remaining cakes.
Spread some curd on one cake half and divide the 5 tablespoonfuls over the other halves and sandwich them together.
Place the points of the hearts facing inwards in the shape of a shamrock (you may need to trim them a little so they fit together.) Use a trimmed piece of cake as the shamrock stem. Spread the pale green butter cream over the top and sides of the cake.

Colour a piece of Siucra roll out - one green and a small piece, black. Using the green roll out, cut out small shamrocks and cut out or shape a leprechaun’s hat and trim with black rollout icing, place on the sides and top of the cake.Spoon the darker green buttercream into a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe around the cake.
Secure a piece of ribbon around the board if you are using this.

Catherine's Sweet Scones

Sweet Scones

There is nothing more mouthwatering than scones straight from the oven, butter melting onto them, a good dollop of homemade raspberry or strawberry jam and topped with freshly whipped cream! 

 

Makes 17 scones approximately

  • 1 lb (450gr / 4 cups) plain flour
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (2 ¾ US tsp) baking powder
  • Large pinch salt
  • 1 oz (25gr / 2 US level tablespoon) castor sugar
  • 4oz (100gr / 1 US stick) chilled butter
  • ½ pint (280ml / 10 fl oz / 1¼ US cups) milk approximately
  • Beaten egg & sugar to glaze

Preheat the oven to Gas 8 / 450F / 230C

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Rub in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add most of the milk. Mix to a soft dough adding all of the milk if required.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to about 1 inch (2 ½ cm) thickness. Dip the cutter into flour and cut the dough into rounds of 1 ½ inch (4cm).
Place scones on a floured baking tray, glaze with the beaten egg and put immediately into the hot oven. In 15 minutes approximately, the scones should have risen and have a golden top. Enjoy with Irish butter and homemade jam!

Catherine's Curried Mussel Soup

Curried Mussel Soup

This is an elegant dinner-party-style soup – it’s quite filling, though, so it’s good to opt for a lighter main course to follow. We have an abundance of wonderful mussels here in Ireland, so we should use them more in home cooking. They take flavour very well and are particularly tasty with curry spices.

 For the broth

  • 1kg / 35oz fresh mussels
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 100ml / 3 fl oz dry white wine
  • 400ml / 13½ fl oz vegetable stock

For the Soup

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 400ml / 13½ fl oz vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp sherry
  • 200ml / 6 fl oz double cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ fennel bulb, finely diced
  • ½ celery stick, finely diced
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 4 tbsp sour cream, to garnish

To make the broth, first clean the mussels by scrubbing or scraping the shells under cold running water to remove seaweed, barnacles and mud. Pull away any ‘beards’ hanging from the mussels. Then drain them and discard any that are cracked or have opened. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the fennel and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine and bring to the boil. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil again before adding the mussels.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the saucepan occasionally, until the mussels are open. Strain the mussels, keeping the broth. Scoop the mussels out of their shells and place in a bowl. Discard any that remain closed. To make the soup, put the butter, flour and curry powder into a large saucepan over a medium heat and stir well before adding the vegetable stock and the mussel broth. Keep stirring until it thickens slightly. Add the sherry and cream and stir well. Return the mussels to the saucepan and heat through.

Check the seasoning, adding salt and a little freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To prepare the topping, combine all the ingredients.

To serve, ladle the soup into warm bowls.

Top with the finely chopped vegetables and garnish with a little sour cream. 

Fine foodCatherine FilvioGood living

Contact

Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford,
Co Wicklow, A67 X720
Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)404 44627
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