Here are my useful tricks
This is the most used appliances in my kitchen. What I found so good about this appliance is that I could multitask while 6 were cooking: I could prepare toppings, get the next 6 ready, have 6 cooling and in the event of disaster, not repeat the error from the previous batch. It saves time. The cupcake maker can take any size patty case and the cupcake papers held their shape. I have no scientific evidence why, but I think as the heat is coming from a close compact source, the cupcake bakes quickly and very evenly. They cooked in 6 minutes for the largest patty case size and 3 minutes for a small patty case. I buy cake mixes on special, rather than cooking a cake I make cupcakes. My favourite is 1 pkt Chocolate cake mix and 1 pkt Zesty Orange cake mix. I make them separately then fold them together for a marbled looking cake and they taste like Jaffa.
Cupcake makers other sweet uses
They also make cheesecakes! Nice little ones. If there is a family member with Coeliac disease, substitute gluten free biscuits for the base. I have used both patty cases and grease-proof paper (moulded into place with a plastic cup). I do not preheat. Add the patty cases into the cupcake maker, add the crushed biscuits and butter into the patty case, use a something circular with a flat bottom (I used a plastic cup) to flatten the biscuit crumbs, making the base the thickness you prefer. Leftover biscuit base can be saved in the fridge in airtight container for at least 3 months. I add raspberries on the top, other berries contain more water, so they leak into the mixture, they taste fine, but appearance can look messy. Put as many as you can on the top for flavour and they look great. Here’s the best bit – in an oven this recipe takes 40 minutes, in the cupcake maker they take 9 minutes. I cooked my first batch for 15 minutes as I was waiting for the top to firm up. Yep, they were overcooked. They were still edible but a bit dry and they cracked when cooled. At 9 minutes they are a little wobbly, but once cooled they are perfect baked cheesecakes. I have listed the full recipe in another blog called Baked Raspberry Cheesecakes.
Try any vegetable you like, here is what I did for baked stuffed tomatoes (buy tomatoes that will fit your cupcake maker hole). I stuff mine with other veggies I like. Heat the cupcake maker, leave the lid open after you add your diced veggies to each compartment with a tiny bit of butter, e.g. diced onion, mushrooms, capsicum and bacon. While these are cooking remove the tomato flesh from their casings. After slicing the top of the tomato off, I cut an x into the tomato top and removed the flesh without piercing the skin. Add a little breadcrumb to absorb the tomato juice, cheese and herbs (if you like). Add all the cooked veggies to the breadcrumb mix, fill the tomatoes with the mixture. The tomatoes only need heating but bake the entire tomato with the lid closed for a minute, just watch out the skin doesn’t split. With the leftovers, put in a piece of foil and enjoy later as a snack, heat in the cupcake maker – it’s quick and won’t splatter.
Baked potato (and microwave for time)
Since then I have baked stuffed potatoes (after they were microwaved, washed, pricked and 2 minutes each on high). They brown up slightly in the cupcake maker. Remove potato pulp (same method as the tomato), fill with mixture (add cheese to garnish) and place in cupcake make with the lid down, long enough to warm through all ingredients. I use the leftovers from the baked tomatoes to also add to the potato.
Great for a winter snack with a morning coffee, was in the mood to bake with apple and cinnamon. No time to bake from scratch, so I cheated, and bought a vanilla butter cake, with a tin of Australian Pink Lady apples, cinnamon and caster sugar. If you want to make more of a muffin than a cake, add less milk to have a drier mixture and beat on a lower slower speed as suggested on the back of the packet. Put the mixture into the patty cases (do not put them into the cupcake maker yet) after lightly drying the apple on paper towel. Cut the apple into 2cm chunks, lightly sprinkle on a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar. The apples will sink evenly down the cake. Add a touch of cinnamon sugar to the top once you have placed in the cupcake maker. I used a whole tin, because I like apple, but you don’t have to. Add an extra minute to the cooking time. Check with a wooden skewer to see if cooked. I did have to check twice.
Next time I am going to try Scones with dates of course!