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The icing on the mid-term break

The Dunbrody House’s star chef Kevin Dundon shares his favourite recipes

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Vanilla Iced Yogurt Cupcakes

Vanilla Iced Yogurt Cupcakes

Spiced Pork Sausage Rolls

Spiced Pork Sausage Rolls

Vanilla

Vanilla

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Vanilla Iced Yogurt Cupcakes

This week marks the start of the October Halloween mid-term break for kids. We always look forward to it as it’s a great chance to catch up and get busy in the kitchen. This year, Halloween celebrations will be back to normal, mostly. There’ll be trick or treating and a few party games such as bobbing for apples, although my kids are starting to be too old for them. But we’ll still carve a few pumpkins (or turnips, if you want to keep the traditional Irish celebration).

The week of midterm holidays before Halloween is the perfect time to keep kids busy in the kitchen and get all the treats prepared while baking. Try a few simple family pick-me-up dishes such as sausage rolls and cupcakes with a decadent icing made with white chocolate.
Sausage roll is a great dish to prepare during the day. It can be eaten for lunch, in small portions as a snack or at dinner with some salads or a bowl of soup.
This week’s recipe uses pork mince but you can use breakfast sausage for ease.
Personally, I prefer pork mince as it is easier to combine with a lot of flavours. From fresh spring onions or caramelised red onion marmalade to carrots and parsley to spices, such as red Thai curry paste, it will always turn out delicious.
I also like, at this time of the year, to add seeds. If you grew sunflowers in your garden, they will be ready to harvest. Pumpkin seeds from the carving are also easy to use. All they need is to be let to dry a few days and toasted to bring crunch to the sausage roll.
Next, we have a traditional yogurt cake made into cupcakes. Cupcakes never go out of fashion with their tower of buttercream. Kids and adults (including me) love it.
In this recipe, I am changing the traditional buttercream icing to a cream and white chocolate icing. The white chocolate is combined with some hot cream to create a ganache then combined again with some cold cream, cooled, then whipped. This ‘whipped ganache’ is lighter, smoother and so tasty.
Happy cooking,
Kevin

VANILLA ICED YOGURT CUPCAKES

Ingredients (Makes 12)
■ 3 eggs
■ 200g caster sugar
■ 120ml natural yogurt
■ 2 tsp vanilla extract
■ 1 tsp lemon zest
■ 120g sunflower oil
■ 200g plain flour
■ 100g corn flour
■ 2 tbsp baking powder
For the Icing
■ 165g white chocolate,
chopped into small pieces
■ 375ml double cream, (120ml + 255ml)
■ 1 tsp vanilla extract
■ 1 tsp lemon zest

Method:
1. First, make the icing. Start by melting the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
2. Place 120ml of the cream in a second small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour the cream into the melted chocolate one-third at a time, stirring briskly after each addition to create a shiny mixture.
3. Pour the remaining cold cream (255ml) into the chocolate mixture, add the vanilla extract and the lemon zest and stir until smooth. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 3 hours to chill and set.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the caster sugar until light and fluffy, or until a figure of eight holds its shape on the mixture for a few seconds.
6. Fold in the yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest then the sunflower oil. Gently fold in the flour, corn flour and baking powder.
7. Divide the batter between the paper cases, then dust the top of each with a little icing sugar. Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
8. Now, lightly whisk the chilled icing until it’s like whipped cream.
9. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle and pipe in spirals on top of the cupcakes. Store in a tight container in a cool area.

SPICED PORK SAUSAGE ROLL

Ingredients (Serves 4):
■ 200g butter puff pastry
■ 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp milk
■ 400g minced pork or sausage meat
■ 1 young onion or 3 spring onions, chopped
■ 2 tbsp garam masala spice
■ 1 tbsp red curry paste
■ 2 tbsp mixed seeds
■ Salt and pepper


Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry and cut in 30cm by 15cm. Brush the pastry with some of the egg wash (egg yolk beaten with milk).
3. In a bowl, place the pork mince with the onion, garam masala and curry paste. Mix with your hands to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the mixture on the puff pastry, approximately 1cm from the edge. Fold the pastry over the sausage mixture and seal.
5. Place on a parchment-lined tray.
Brush the tops with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with mixed seeds.
6. Place in a preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden and mixture is cooked.
7. Slice the sausage roll into portions and serve warm or at room temperature. Once cooked, the rolls can be stored in the fridge and eaten as desired!

TOP TIP... IN POD WE TRUST: HOW TO
MAKE THE MOST OF VANILLA

Quality vanilla pods are hard to come by in shops. If you manage to get your hands on some fresh vanilla pods you need to check a few points before purchasing. First, the vanilla pod need to be able to bend. If it is a woody stick it is past its time and most of the flavour will be gone.

Next, if you can observe the pod should be full or plump with a strong vanilla aroma. If you cannot find quality vanilla pods, look for the best alternative vanilla bean paste. It combine vanilla extract (not essence which is the chemical version) and some vanilla seeds.

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