So my Sunday afternoon was spent at the beautiful Wilton’s Hall in Wapping, the oldest music hall in the world. Opened in the 1800s, this stunning building is exactly how you imagine an old-fashioned music hall to look, with so much history and charisma in every room. Sadly, years of neglect have left it in a run-down state and if they do not raise enough money by the end of this year, the hall will be forced to shut down. Visit their Save Wilton page for more information.
My reason for being there was a Vintage Open Day which included a creative cake competition, judged by the legendary Barbara Windsor and the talented baker Lily Vanilli. After some great advise from my twitter friend @SyrupyCupcakes (who works for a fabulous syrup company called Malmesbury Syrups), I decided to make some cupcake cheese burgers. Sadly I did not win the competition, however I lost to a fantastic Mad Hatters Tea Party Cake which probably took about 10 hours to make (therefore I am not at all bitter… well maybe a tiny bit….)
There are four parts to the cupcake cheese burger: the bread bun (fairy cakes), beef burger (brownies), ketchup (strawberry jam) and cheese (honeycomb). All of the components are easy enough to make and once put together, they look a bit too real to eat! I didn’t actually eat a whole one (after hours of nibbling at the leftovers), but I imagine that it would be a good cake to pick at over a long period of time (so 2 minutes as opposed to the typical 1 minute it takes to eat a cake by my standards!). This was also my first time making honeycomb which was lots of fun and so much easier than you would think.
I’ve included the ingredients and instructions for each element below, and then an explanation on how to assemble them together.
Ingredients (makes 12 burgers):
5 – 6 tbsp of good quality strawberry jam
120g butter (softened)
180g caster sugar
185g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
125g dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
90g butter (softened)
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 medium eggs
80g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
50ml runny honey (mild-flavoured works best)
1 tbsp liquid glucose
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 1/2 tbsp of water
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. For the fairy cakes, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the sifted flour and then mix in the milk. Weight 55g of batter in each muffin case (just to ensure that they are the same size), and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked and golden. I used silicon muffin cases which worked really well. Once cooked, transfer to a wire rack and cool.
For the brownies, keep the oven at the same temperature and grease and line a square or rectangle tin. You need to be able to cut 12 ‘beef burgers’ from the mixture. However if you only have a small tin then you can just cut out 6, as the brownies will be too thick and each ‘burger’ will need to be halved horizontally (which is what I had to do). Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water – ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water – and stir occasionally until it has melted. Leave to cool slightly. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence, and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the sifted combined flour, cocoa and baking powder with a metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 25 – 20 minutes, or until the brownie is firm and comes away from the sides of the tin. Cool in the tin.
For the honeycomb, line a baking tray and place the bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl ready to go (as it will be needed quickly later on). Put the sugar, honey, glucose and water into a saucepan with the sugar thermometer and boil over a low/medium heat until the temperature reaches 150C/300F – a light caramel colour and a nice smell of hot honey. Very quickly, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. Pour the mixture onto the linked baking tray and leave to set. To wash the pan and whisk, leave them to soak in warm soapy water and the honeycomb mixture should come off easily after 30 minutes. Once the honeycomb has cooled, carefully cut it into 12 pieces. It was easiest to break it into large pieces first, then trim the edges down with a pair of large scissors (be warned though as they are quite sticky!).
So next comes the assembling of the cheese burgers! Once the brownie has cooled, cut into the ‘beef burger’ shapes, using a round cookie cutter which is roughly the same size as the fairy cake base. If you do not have a round cookie cutter, just cut round the fairy cake base like I did.
When I cut mine, they were too thick, therefore I halved them horizontally (and had lots of brownie to munch on after!). For the ‘bread buns’, slice each fairy cake in half horizontally, then trim the edge of the top layer off so that both layers are roughly the same size.
For the ‘ketchup’ layer, mix the jam in a bowl so that it is soft, then add roughly a teaspoon to the bottom layer and smooth it all over. Place a brownie ‘burger’ on top and a piece of honeycomb ‘cheese’ on top of this. The honeycomb should stick to the brownie but if not, put a tiny dollop of jam in the middle to stick them together.
Add the final layer of ‘bread’ and then loosely place the burger in a paper case. These would be great for any occasion (especially children’s birthday parties) or just if you fancy a bit of fun! If anyone has other ideas for the fillings then please let me know, and enjoy 🙂