Bacon and Egg cupcakes

This Sunday it’s the birthday of both Bruce Wayne and my better half, Tamsin. I figure Bruce will have a birthday breakfast sorted, so I thought I might look at having a special breakfast for Tam. So it’s French toast on order, and pancakes for Aimee etc.. Recently I had tripped over this image of bacon and egg cupcakes. A bit of research revealed lots of recipes which seemed a bit overly convoluted, so I thought I’d try my own ahead of the big day.

You will need:

  • A muffin baking tray (it needs to be deep, so not the shallow bun variation);
  • Decent quality back bacon, well, the important bit is the shape and size of the slices;
  • Eggs, since it’s a cosmetic recipe, I used organic eggs that tend to have great colour as well as flavour.

I tried two different variations of bacon, which you can see below.

First of all, just grill the bacon normally. I know you know what that looks like, but to get an idea of the size of the slices I used.

Yes, a picture of bacon
The regular bacon I tried. (Apologies to American readers – good bacon can be hard to get there).

But I also tried another variation of back bacon without the fatty “tail”:

The leaner bacon
I also tried this more lean version.

If, like me, you only have a single oven, turn off the grill, and put the oven on at around 200 degrees centigrade (probably 180 for fan assisted ovens, and that’s around 400 Fahrenheit for any Americans). Give the grill element some time (only about 5-10 minutes) to cool down, so you will be baking the eggs later and not grilling them.

Now, you need to simply put the bacon into one of the cups in the tray. Don’t do what I did and use an edge, working from the centre probably makes a lot more sense. For the “normal” bacon I simply put the slice round the edge, and it covers almost everything. I actually took the most fatty bit off the second slice and placed it on over the hole. I didn’t bother to do anything special with the tray, and I didn’t use cupcake cases or bread as I’ve seen in some of the more complex procedures. You don’t have to worry about the odd small gap, but cover what you can.

The regular bacon curls up well. Two or one and a half slices each.
The regular bacon curls up well. Two or one and a half slices each.

My second variation involved using three of the lean slices to make a flower petal kind of effect.

The lean bacon is hard to seat in the tin.
The lean bacon is hard to seat in the tin.

Now you simply have to carefully crack an egg into each cup, trying not to rupture the yolk.

Eggs cracked before cooking.
Eggs cracked before cooking.

So now bake in the centre of the oven, for around 15-20 minutes. I found the second variation seemed to take more time to cook because the egg was further away from the metal most likely. Then use a silicon spatula or similar to easy the edge of the bacon away from the case, lift out, and serve warm.

After cooking.
After cooking.

You can see one cut in half. Tam and I tried the results and we feel the original version (with the regular bacon) is the best, and I think it looks the best too. At just under 20 minutes I found the white totally set, but the yolk still had a good moist consistency. The saltiness of the bacon infuses the egg in a really pleasing way. I hope you enjoy trying it. I will be making them again on Sunday.

The yolk is still a little soft.
The yolk is still a little soft.

Swan Heated Tray repair

We have a nice Swan Heated Tray courtesy of my Mum. It’s useful for lots of things, heating plates for dinner and then placing serving dishes on it, or for keeping a stack of pancakes warm on Sunday. Unfortunately it stopped working recently. The red power LED still lit when power was applied but no heating. Google produced no answers (which is why I’m writing this for anyone following a similar trail). The helpline couldn’t help, and theoretically the tray was under warranty, but with no receipt we couldn’t follow their advice to return it to the store. So I had to fix it myself.

You should obviously think twice before messing around with something (a) electrical and (b) which generates large amounts of heat. Please don’t kill yourself or burn your house down, that will make us both feel really bad.

The tray is fitted with triangular screws which reinforces my comments above, but not having previously purchased some triangular screwdrivers, these were next to be acquired. I figured they might come in useful for something else in the future.

Taking the device apart shows that basically it’s quite simple, there are some blocks through which elements do the heating, a lot of glass fibre (so wear gloves) to protect the underneath from the blocks.

The inside of the tray
The inside of the tray. You can see the connections on the two right most blocks where I removed the section of cabling that was not working.

There are also a number of polythene covers to hold the corners of the blocks, though it seems a few were missing. There was no obvious fuse much to my surprise and irritation. A bit of testing with a continuity tester showed that a particular loop of cable was no longer doing its job. I pulled it out, and pulled back some insulated sheathing to reveal the culprit fuse.

The culprit
The culprit

Replacement fuses can be obtained here. I teased upon the crimps with a precision screw driver and fitted the replacement, crimping it very firmly back in place. Then it was a matter of putting it all back together and testing it was appropriate safety measures in case of problems. All working again.