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Hibiscus and redcurrant fairy cakes

Anyone been watching Economy Gastronomy on BBC 2? It's the usual use seasonal ingredients, cook from scratch blah blah blah. One of the things it reminded me to do was to go through my cupboards and freezer and clear out the crap.

I found a few surprises in there - namely a sushi ingredient that I'm a little scared to use as it's titled something like 'boiled gourd', as well as a pack of sausages that may predate the last ice age and may already be sentient - and a few things that really should have been used up already.

One of them is a delicious punnet of redcurrants that was a present from Mr Flicking the Vs' mum who, because she lives outside the capital, has the unheard-of-in-London luxury of a garden.

The other great and underused ingredients that I managed to unearth was jar of wild hibiscus flowers in syrup - great in sparkling wine and, as it turns out, cupcakes. Alas, the flavour doesn't come through massively in the fairy cakes, but it turns them a little pinky-reddy and that's alright with me.


50g vegan margarine
35g sugar
75g self raising flour
Teaspoon of cider vinegar
Couple of pinches of baking powder
50-75g redcurrants (depends how fruity you like your fairy cakes)
One Alpro vanilla dessert (125ml, I think - one pot anyway)
Three dessertspoons of wild hibiscus syrup and a bit more for decorating

How you do it

Cream together the marge and sugar until light and fluffy.

Stir in the flour and mix well.

Stir in the Alpro dessert until well mixed, then add the vinegar and baking powder and mix again.

Finally add in the redcurrants and hibiscus syrup and stir gently so the fruit is evenly mixed. Drizzle a little syrup over the top and decorate with a few spare redcurrants if you're of a mind to.

Spoon into cupcake cases (there should be enough mix for about six cupcakes) and bake in the oven at about 200 for 20/25 minutes, or until a knife or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

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