Friday, 6 April 2012

Boozy Baileys Cupcakes.

What IS the big deal with cupcakes? It's like overnight they became totally trendy and everyone's must have accessory. I'm not sure if I missed some revolution where the good ole fashioned bun suddenly morphed into the sexy cupcake, where businesses were born, wedding cakes were assembled with them and celebs were papped stuffing their skinny jaws with their sugary wonderfulness.

So, don't be scared, they're just buns in fairness. I created my own recipe, which was originated from a red velvet recipe, which uses sunflower oil and buttermilk rather than butter. Not only is it more cost affective, but it makes for devine mouthfuls of moist cupcake heaven. The dressing of cupcakes is essential. Pick yourself up a piping bag and some glitzy sugars and your elected. Prettiness is essential for alluring cupcakes. 

Here is my recipe for Baileys cupcakes. You can ditch the baileys and opt for whatever flavour takes your fancy. Try some lemon zest and juice, chocolate chips, mint, some vanilla extract or maybe some food colouring for whatever colour mood you are in; the list goes on. Feel free to contact me if you need some help in customizing your own.

Boozy Baileys Cupcakes
Makes 12-16 cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees


Dry ingredients
7oz Flour
1 heaped teaspoon of baking Powder
8 oz caster sugar
1 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder

Wet Ingredients
1 egg, lightly whisked
125ml Sunflower Oil
125 ml Buttermilk (shake the carton before pouring)
1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
100ml Baileys 

Buttercream Baileys Icing

6oz Butter, soffened
10oz icing sugar
100ml Baileys 


1. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix

2. Put all the wet ingredients into a big bowl and whisk. (I used my Kenwood chef, but a hand mixer is fine)

3. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. 

4. Pour the batter into a pouring jug. 

5. using the jug, pour the batter evenly into your lined bun tin.

6. Put into a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and are dry to touch.

7. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Now for the icing. 

8. I find to achieve really nice icing, you need to beat the baileys, sugar and butter for at least 10 minutes. Practice your swirls before you get to ice the cakes. You'll be a pro in no time. 

9. Dust with some chocolate shavings and some coloured sugar if you have it.

I am currently organsing a fundraiser for the mighty Pieta House. The theme is Coffee 'n' Cupcakes. Please come along on Friday 27th April from 9.30am-midday to the Hunt Museum, Limerick or take a look at

Happy Cupcaking! 

Roast Fillet of Pork with Sage and Orange

I wasn't a lover of pork. I simply didn't 'get' it. To me, it had no distinctive flavour or attributes. The problem was any time I had it cooked for me it was most likely overcooked and not given any special TLC. I picked up a fillet of Pork in my local supermarket recently as it was good value and decided to see if I could tackle my pork demons. Not only did I bury them but I can safely say I discovered something wickedly awesome with this dish. I scour the Internet when researching a dish, pairing flavours that I think will work. I had sage growing in the garden and a bowl full of juicy oranges....and so this Helena Pork Classic was born. I was wowed by the porks juiciness, incredible taste and complimenting flavours. 

Try it, it's impressive and embarrassingly easy.

1 Pork Fillet
I big Juicy Orange, sliced
Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
Bunch of fresh sage leaves

For the Jus
One glass of wine
3 slices of the Roasted Orange
1 Tablespoon spoon of muscavdo sugar (or regular if you have no muscavdo)
5 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
good knob of butter

(The quantities for the jus are from memory as I tend to taste my way through cooking. Feel free to add a little less sugar or a little more vinegar, what you want at the end is a sweet and slightly tangy orangy syrupy drizzle)

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees


1. On a roasting tray, arrange orange slices in a line, overlapping half ways

2. Rub the pork fillet liberally with the mustard, and season lightly

3. Lay the pork fillet on top, and cover with sage leaves (They will stick to the mustard)

4. Drizzle with a little Olive Oil, and put into preheated oven for 15 minutes.

5. Take out and wrap the pork in tinfoil

For the Jus

1. In a pot, fire in all the ingredients listed under 'For the Jus"

2. Boil the bejaysus out of it until it's well reduced and the alcohol is burnt off.

3. Sieve it, and then add the knob of butter for a nice glossy finish 

To serve
Slice the pork one in inch thick rounds, place three slices of orange on a warmed plate, top with pork slices, drizzle with jus and throw a few sage leaves on top. 

I served with with creamy mashed potatoes, tender stem broccoli and pureed wholegrain mustard carrots. 

Why not do this for Easter? This dish is so easy, quick, reasonably priced and tastes like you got it in a posh restaurant.