Taking the (Cup)Cake

The Hangover
The Hangover

As promised in Sunday Small Bites, I’m featuring some of Jackson Martin’s amazing cupcakes. I worked with Jackson a while back, and he turned a penchant for baking and knack for the sweet treats into a culinary career before taking yet another detour; burned out by difficult working conditions and low pay, like many in the industry. But his passion for food still burns bright, and I think you’ll agree there’s nothing ordinary about these creations! Take “the Hangover”, above: Chocolate Guinness cupcake with bacon and pretzel bits, vanilla bean buttercream, and a crushed plain chip garnish. I’d buy into that as a hangover cure–add an Advil and you’re good to go!

Black olive & white chocolate
Black olive & white chocolate

This black & white cupcake is a kalamata olive batter with white chocolate buttercream, and olive “dust” garnish.

Banana Split
Banana Split

The ice cream favourite takes cupcake form: banana chocolate batter, strawberry buttercream, pineapple rum preserve with cherry on top.

The Gobbler
The Gobbler

Dinner and dessert, in one cupcake! The Gobbler is a turkey and gravy cupcake, roasted maple sweet potato buttercream, cranberry sauce garnish. IMG_4558 And the sneak peek from last week: the Chicken Wing cupcake with Dave’s (r) hot sauce, blue cheese buttercream and a fried hot wing for garnish. Jackson provided the recipe in the comments section on Sunday’s post, and I’m reprinting it here in case you missed it. I can’t wait to try it! I’ll continue to feature Jackson’s work, and if you’d like a recipe or want to share your own whacky-doo creations, we’d love to hear from you! Jackson swears the best blue cheese for this recipe is the Dragon’s Breath Blue from Halifax’s That Dutchman’s Farm, and I am inclined to agree. Chicken Wing Cupcake Cupcake: 2 ¼ c all-purpose flour 1 ½ c white sugar ½ c shortening (I used butter flavoured) 1 ¼ c 2% milk 3 ½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 3 eggs Dave’s hot sauce (to taste) Beat eggs, shortening, and white sugar together until frothy/ thick. Sift together all dried ingredients (flour,baking powder, and salt) , and mix together all wet ingredients (milk, and vanilla). Add (fold in) dry and wet ingredients to the egg mixture; alternating between the two. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl/ mixer often. Fold in Dave’s hot sauce to desired “heat”; remember that the heat from the hot sauce will intensify a bit during the baking process. Bake at 350c until done; springs back on the top after being touched (about 10-ish mins). Blue Cheese Buttercream: ½ c unsalted butter, room temperature 3 c powdered sugar Pinch salt ¼ c blue cheese (creamy texture is best!) 2-3 tbsp. milk Beat the butter on high speed for 2-3 minutes until it softens and lightens in colour. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add salt and blue cheese and slowly add in milk until the frosting is spreading/ piping consistency. (I will add more if it seems too thick.) Top with a drizzle of hot sauce and a little more blue cheese, or a whole chicken wing for a “wow” factor. 🙂 (All photos in this post courtesy & copyright Jackson Martin)

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