Mojito Cupcakes

Mojitos are a favourite cocktail in my family, especially when Mum’s lime tree is fruiting (which seems to be almost constantly!) These fresh and zingy cupcakes incorporate all the classic flavours of a mojito – lime, mint and a cheeky hint of rum. I took a batch to a Mexican fiesta night recently and they were a huge hit, as they’re just the right light dessert for when you’ve stuffed in one too many tacos.

Feel free to omit the rum to make them kid-friendly.

Ingredients (makes 12)
Cupcakes
1 cup self-raising flour
⅔ cup caster sugar
125g butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Rind of 2 limes, finely grated

Mojito Syrup
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons white rum (I use Bacardi)
Juice of 3 limes
A sprig of fresh mint leaves

Icing
90g butter
4 cups icing sugar
Leftover mojito syrup
Juice of half a lime
Rind of 1 lime, finely grated
½ tablespoon milk

Decoration
Lime slices
Mint leaves
Paper straws (cut into thirds)

Preheat oven to 200ºC (180 fan-forced) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with green patty pans.

Put all of the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among the patty pans (I know it doesn’t look like much batter, but they will rise a lot).

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Transfer immediately onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the mojito syrup by heating all ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat until it has thickened to a syrupy texture (about 8 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve to remove the mint leaves.

Using a skewer, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes (about 10 per cake). Carefully dip the top of the cupcakes into the mojito syrup. Leave to soak for a few minutes and repeat.

To make the icing, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add icing sugar, remaining mojito syrup, lime juice, rind and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Taste the frosting and add more lime juice as required to ensure it is tangy. Add further icing sugar to stiffen the mixture, or milk to loosen it. Transfer into a piping bag with the Wilton 1M star tip.

Pipe icing in a softserve motion on the cupcakes, starting from the outside and working your way into the centre and up.

Slice a lime into 6 thin rounds and then cut them in half again to make thin wedges. Top each cupcake with a lime wedge, straw and mint leaves. Enjoy!

Base cupcake recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess

My Famous Guacamole

It feels a bit cheeky to call this a recipe as it’s so easy and basically impossible to mess up, but it’s been my most requested ‘recipe’ among my friends and it’s about time I shared it. Adjust it to suit your palate (no two guacamoles I make are exactly the same), but here is the basis of the guacamole that features prominently at most Bills gatherings. We usually serve it with salted corn chips, but it also works well with flavoured Doritos, crackers, veggie sticks, or my sister’s weird but delicious favourite, salt and vinegar chips. Of course it is also a perfect addition to tacos, burritos and nachos.

Warning: once you make it for your friends, you will never be allowed to bring anything else to a party… ever!

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Ingredients (makes enough for 1 packet of corn chips)
2 ripe avocados
1 medium sized clove of garlic, finely diced
2 teaspoons tomato, finely chopped
3 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
Salt
Pepper
Coriander leaves, to serve
Corn chips, to serve

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Ft. Adelaide Crows scarf in the background because it’s AFL Grand Final Day!!

Cut up the avocados into small cubes and scoop into a medium sized bowl. Mash gently with a fork until mostly squashed but with some lumps (I prefer the term ‘texture’) remaining.

Dice the garlic (making the pieces as small as possible) and tomato and add to the avocado. Gently stir through with the fork.

Add in the lime juice, sweet chilli sauce and tabasco sauce (if desired). Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Taste it and add more of any of the ingredients until it’s balanced and to your liking.

Transfer into a small serving bowl, top with a couple of coriander leaves and enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Emma, my neighbour from Canberra.

And because it’s always stuck in my head, enjoy the horrendously catchy ‘Guacamole Song’ here!!