Potato & sun-dried tomato cupcakes
A long time ago on this blog I proclaimed that the world needed more savoury cupcakes. Sadly, I've been failing miserably in my quest so I thought it about time I did something about it. My latest savoury cupcake is potato & sun-dried tomato with a cream cheese & sweet chilli savoury icing.
Now, a cupcake wouldn't be a cupcake without icing & we all know there are oodles of sweet icing recipes out there. But when it comes to 'savoury icing', it's uncharted territory. For my first savoury cupcakes, I used Philadelphia cream cheese as a base, to which I added some sweet chilli sauce - which is as much for flavour as it is to soften the cream cheese to the point that you reach a piping consistency. This time around I was determined to try a different combination for the savoury icing so I mixed together some cream cheese with BBQ sauce. I've got one word for you here, yuk. Don't try it. What I thought would be a promising duo, turned out to be quite a strange flavour indeed. I couldn't put my finger on why it was so wrong so what did I do? I added a teaspoon of honey. Don't ask me why. I think it was just a desperate attempt to produce something magical but that only made things worse.
So out went the weird BBQ & honey icing (see even when typed that combo looks wrong!) & in came the trusty combo of cream cheese with sweet chilli sauce. Now, don't get me wrong this tastes really good with the cupcakes, but if I'm going to bring more savoury cupcakes into the world (with your help might I add!) then I really need to think of more than one type of savoury icing that I can use. My thinking cap is at the ready...
As for the cupcakes themselves, I have a couple of pearls of wisdom to share with you before you attempt them. Firstly, my cupcakes are way too small. I was hoping nobody would notice with the help of a nice big swirl of savoury icing & a strategically placed coriander leaf... but, in hindsight I should have put more mixture into the cupcake cases. I held back a bit as I wasn't sure how much they would rise. I made 10 cupcakes but I think they would have been much better if I had just divided the mixture among six cupcake cases. So, for the purposes of your future success with these, I would recommend doing just that because at the end of the day, what you want is a good ratio of cupcake to savoury icing.
You'll need to add 1.5 cups of grated potato & it's really important that you rinse the grated potato under water & then make sure you squeeze as much water out as possible. Rinsing the potato removes the starch & then squeezing the water out means that you won't end up with a mixture that is way too wet.
Let's move on to the recipe...
Ingredients for the cupcakes (makes 6)
- 1.5 cups grated potato (Now, I used pre-washed new potatoes which had quite a thin skin. I didn't bother peeling them first but if you're using potatoes with a thicker skin or they're quite dirty or marked, then definitely peel them first).
- Small clove of crushed garlic (if you're not a fan of garlic, you could opt for some finely chopped onion instead)
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg (you'll be separating the yolk from the white & adding in separately)
- Small amount of salt (I did a couple of turns of the salt grinder, I didn't want to add too much salt because the sun-dried tomatoes were quite salty)
Ingredients for the savoury icing
- 250g block of Philadelphia light cream cheese
- About 1.5 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- Green herb garnish e.g coriander leaves, parsley or chives would be nice
What to do
- Flick the oven on 180C fan bake or 200C static.
- Line muffin tins with six cupcake cases.
- Grate the potato & then rinse it well in a sieve under cold water. Push out as much remaining water as you can so that the potato is as dry as you can get it. Then grab a medium sized mixing bowl & throw in the potato.
- Separate the egg & keep the white in a separate bowl for beating later. Add the egg yolk to the potatoes.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the potato & mix well..
- Whisk the egg white until it reaches stiff peak consistency (you should be able to tip the bowl upside down without it falling out) then add the egg white to the potato mix & fold it in until it's combined.
- Divide the mixture among your six cupcake cases & bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden & they spring back when you press them lightly on the top. Leave them to cool in the muffin trays & then remove to a wire rack.
- Once the cupcakes are cool (a good way of checking this is to sit the bottom of the cupcake on top of your hand, if it feels completely cool then you're good to go with the icing).
- To make the savoury icing, mix together the cream cheese with the sweet chilli sauce until you have a good piping consistency. Use a large piping nozzle of your choice (you want one with a wider opening so that the bits of chill don't clog it up) pipe swirls of icing on each cupcake. Garnish with your chosen herb.
These cupcakes really are tasty & they're quite moist once the potato cooks through. I am never sure about leaving them out at room temperature for too long once they're iced because I've read mixed reviews on how stable cream cheese is. So I would recommend that you ice these cupcakes just before you eat them & if you do have some left over then keep them in the fridge until the next day (at most), just to be on the safe side.