Red Pepper & Pine Nut Cupcakes

prep 20 mins, plus cooling cook 30 mins
  • 150 g (5 oz) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and diced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 75 g (3 oz) pine nuts
  • 125 g (4 oz) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 125 g (4 oz) ground almonds
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 12 small bay leaves (optional)
  • pepper

Line a 12-section bun tray with paper cake cases. Melt 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the red peppers, shallots and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Drain to a plate. Tip the pine nuts into the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes until beginning to brown. Leave to cool.

Put the remaining butter in a bowl with the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, eggs and plenty of pepper. Stir well to mix, then stir in the red pepper mixture and pine nuts. Divide the cake mixture between the paper cases and push a bay leaf into the top of each cake, if liked.

Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

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