May. 09, 2012 - Issue #864: The Barbecutionist
The barbie works for more than just shrimpThe word "barbecue" calls to mind images of big, mouth-watering steaks, not bread and cupcakes.
But listen up grill masters, because you can turn your backyard barbecue into a baking machine. The barbecue can be used as an exceptional baking tool as well as its regular purpose of grilling your favourite dishes. Think about it: all that's needed to bake bread and similar items is an enclosed space with lots of heat. A barbecue has exactly that.
Granted, some elbow grease is required prior to baking, in order to remove any meat remnants that could cause your cupcakes to taste like hamburgers, and potentially some extra equipment for certain recipes, but it beats heating up the entire house when temperatures start to climb.
Both flat and raised varieties of bread can easily be made on the grill, which more closely resembles the wood-fire ovens of artisan bakers. Grills produce more heat than household ovens do, which means faster baking times, but more room for burning to occur. Keep a close eye on the bread throughout the recommended baking time. It also doesn't hurt to keep an oven thermometer handy and place it near the bread to monitor the temperature of the grill.
Sweet treats like cupcakes are also an option for the barbecue. Be sure to place a cookie sheet underneath the cupcake pan to help the batch bake evenly.
Baking recipes for the grill may each call for different methods and equipment to ensure great results. Before you place any added cookware on the grill, like pizza stones or cookie sheets, be sure it's safe to do so—some do not stand up to the heat and flame of a grill. If you have a newer barbecue, check the manufacturer's website to see if it offers any accessories to help with baking, as many are touting the versatility of modern grills.
Tailgate cupcakes on the grill
Makes 12 cupcakes
Vanilla cupcake batter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter (soften until very soft)
1 lb confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: food colouring
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, baking powder, salt and flour, blend together on low speed
Add shortening, milk and vanilla and mix on medium until well-blended, scrape down sides of the bowl
Add eggs one at a time and beat well between eggs, always on a low setting, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as you go
Beat on high speed until well-mixed (about two minutes)
Preheat grill to approx. 325 degrees (about 10 minutes on high if you do not have a gauge)
Place cupcake papers into the cupcake pan
Fill each cupcake paper until it's about three quarters full, continue to hand-mix the batter as you divide it into the pan
Place the cookie sheet on the grill then place the cupcake pan on top of the cookie sheet (this will keep the bottoms from cooking too fast and result in a more evenly cooked cupcake) and close the lid
Cook cupcakes for about 21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
Remove and let cool, then remove cupcakes from the pan
In large bowl, combine butter, vanilla and milk and beat until smooth
Add confectioner's sugar and mix on low for a minute before switching to high-speed
Mix well until creamy (add more milk if necessary) and of firm consistency
If you intend to add multiple colours, divide frosting into two bowls then gradually mix in the food colouring in each until you reach the appropriate shade of your chosen colours
Place frosting in separate frosting tubes
Once cupcakes have cooled, squeeze generous portions of frosting from the frosting tubes, starting at the outside edge of the cupcake and swirling to the centre. Experiment with different textured decorating tips. vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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