How big is Sydney's food blogging community?
It numbers at about 112 according to research by Suze and I. We know this because this was the number of invitations we sent out for the first all-inclusive Sydney food bloggers' event, a Christmas picnic in Hyde Park.
A gluttony of 50 food bloggers descended on the day, each bearing a plate of sweets or savouries for our afternoon tea. I revelled in the opportunity to bake, yes, more cupcakes.
With my current salty-and-sweet obsession showing no signs of abating, I continued the theme, this time inspired by Elvis' favourite suppertime snack, Fool's Gold, a loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with a pound of bacon, a jar of peanut butter and a jar of grape jelly.
I adapted my usual Nigella Lawson cupcake recipe by adding a touch of maple syrup and a filling of bacon, then piping in a surprise splodge of strawberry jam. I paired the cupcakes with a soft peanut butter frosting that was garnished with shards of super crispy bacon. A sprinkle of salt flakes gave a savoury edge.
200g bacon rashers
125g salted butter softened
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup strawberry jam
Peanut butter frosting
125g unsalted butter, softened
200g smooth peanut butter
200g-250g pure icing sugar
salt flakes (I used Murray River salt flakes)
Preheat oven to 170C or 150C if using fan-forced.
Pan-fry the bacon until crisp or use your microwave. To microwave bacon, line a plate with two sheets of paper towel. Place a single layer of bacon on top and then cover with two more sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high in one minute bursts until cooked - the bacon will go crunchy when it cools down. Mine took about three minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, maple syrup and eggs in a food processor and blitz until well combined. If you do not have a food processor, cream the butter and sugar first and then add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, maple syrup and eggs and beat until well combined.
Add one tablespoon of milk and blitz/beat. Add the second tablespoon if the mixture still looks a little thick.
Distribute the batter evenly across twelve patty pans in a muffin tin. I usually dollop out a tablespoon in each.
Dice the cooked bacon into medium-sized squares. Reserve the fattier pieces (the streaky bacon) for the garnish. Push in about 3-4 pieces of the meatier bacon pieces into each patty pan. Use a spoon to smooth the batter over the bacon so it is submerged.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
When the cupcakes are cool, use a piping bag with a plain tip to squeeze a small dollop of strawberry into the middle of each cupcake. Pipe over with the peanut butter frosting and garnish with shards of the crispy bacon. You may need to microwave the bacon for an extra minute or two to make sure it is brittle and crunchy. Add a sprinkle of salt flakes for the final touch.
Peanut butter frosting
Using an electric mixer, cream the unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, until you are happy with the consistency. I kept my frosting quite soft. Season with salt to personal preference.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Combine 50 food bloggers with a picnic and you are guaranteed to have a feast of food on offer. These are just some of the treats we gorged ourselves on all afternoon:
[Bloggers - let me know if your dish has been featured but unidentified or if you have any corrections or further details]
Kids' high tea of fairy bread, honey joys and
chocolate cracklers by Chocolatesuze
Gingerbread cookies by Jacq
Cinnamon scrolls with caramel sauce by Yasmin
Chocolate cookies with white chocolate icing by Peter
Sweet potato latkes by Jessica
Apple and pecan cupcakes by Arwen
Roast duck wonton cups by Ellie
Fruit mince tarts, cake, hotdogs, cupcakes and gingerbread hearts
Champagne and longan jelly with gold leaf by Billy
Mini cheeseburgers and Korean chicken wings by Simon;
white chocolate rocky road by Yaya's Yum Yums
The amazing Momofuku Bo Ssam 5-hour slow roast pork by Billy
(see Billy's recipe)
The traditional anonymous food blogger group photo
Thank you everyone for attending and making it such an amazing afternoon. It's great to see such a friendly and supportive food blogging community thriving in Sydney - long may it continue to grow with passion and appetite!
The 50 food bloggers that attended were:
http://www.ladyironchef.com (visiting from Singapore)
FREEBIE FRIDAY WINNERS
Congratulations to the following Grab Your Fork Freebie Friday winners:
Timmy has won a gift box of new harvest achacha fruit;
Tresna has won a copy of MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook.
Don't forget to enter the Freebie Friday competitions still open to entries. You could win:
- a copy of the cookbook And the love is free... by Jules Clancy (entries close TODAY 14/12/09 5.30pm)
- one of five double passes to see Bright Star (entries close Wednesday 16/12/09 5.30pm)
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic 2010
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12/14/2009 02:44:00 am