So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish Cupcakes

If you did a snorty nerd-giggle when you saw the name of this post then you must be a fellow Douglas Adams fan – Yay!! We should form a local branch of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, and have a special handshake!

This recipe, based on a basic savoury muffin recipe, was inspired by this past week being (wait for it, fell0w-Adams-fan)… Week 42 of 2012, and we all know the significance behind the number 42, don’t we? *conspiratorial wink-wink nudge-nudge*.

For future reference, I’m filing this recipe under “Anti-Cupcakes” – a concept I’ve been having lots of fun with over the last few years but sadly have not documented well. Anti-Cupcakes are not angry rebellious mohawked facial-tattooed cupcakes, no indeed, they are simply savoury cupcakes that look as pretty as the sweet kind. Just because you don’t have a sweet tooth doesn’t mean you should only ever get the ugly things – you know how it is, dried out sandwich triangles with the corners curling up, soggy, oil-filled spring-rolls, greasy platters of monochromatic pies and Unidentified Fried Objects and a bedraggled stalk of parsley to somehow make it look more appealing. Observe:

Versus:

So anyway, back to Douglas Adams – once you’re absolutely sure that you have your towel on your person (for it’s immense psychological value) head on to the kitchen for full retro thrust and ten degrees starboard. Or something….

For 12 Hitchiker’s Haddock Anti-Cupcakes:

225g of cake flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Big pinch of salt

75g butter, melted and cooled + a little extra for frying

1 egg

1/2 onion, chopped finely

1 teaspoon  garlic, chopped even more finely

200ml milk

250g haddock fillets

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease muffin tins; while the oven is firing up, fry the onion in the extra butter until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another minute, then add the milk and the haddock.

If possible, remember to defrost the haddock. I forgot this part and had to improvise a little. If you are a hoopy frood and did the necessary defrostification, then simmer the fillets in the milk for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the centre; mix the egg and butter together, then add the milk from the fish (it doesn’t matter if the onion and garlic fall in too, they’re all going to end up in a cupcake anyway). Remove the skin from the cooked fish if you forgot that it could have been done while still frozen, then roughly flake the fish.

Pour the liquid ingredients and the fish into the well, and using a spatula mix through gently until ONLY JUST BARELY MIXED. A few lumps and bumps are fine – they will work there way out in the warmth of the oven, and if you insist on beating it to smoothness you will not have cupcakes but fish-flavoured bouncy balls.

Decant the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the “icing”:

Bake 2 large potatoes until soft and fluffy on the inside; when they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skins and mash the insides with a big handful of sharp white cheddar, a big dollop or two of butter, and a pinch of salt. If it’s too thick to go through a piping bag, add a splash of milk.

When it’s cooled, pop it into a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle fitted, and pipe onto the tops of the cooled cupcakes; decorate with cooked green peas and edible glitter for awesome anti-cupcakes – prepare for people to treat them with suspicion but they will completely get over it after the first bite. If you’re amongst other Adams-fans, you could try getting away with saying that they are Babelfish cupcakes but then you should expect that several people will try desperately to stuff a cupcake into their ear.

Go dig out the trilogy of five books in the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while the cupcakes are doing time in the oven, then settle yourself in for the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. Whatever you do, just remember:

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