Sift the flour into a bowl (it’s important to get some air into the flour, and to ensure no lumps in the batter). Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to the flour; use a spoon to create a well in the centre of the flour.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl, and gently beat with a fork until the mixture is even and a touch frothy. Pour the egg mixture into the flour well. Using a wooden spoon, start quickly (but gently) stirring the centre of the egg mixture. Allow the liquid to wash over the flour and pull more of it into the mix. You can help the flour into mixture every now and again – it’ll start out lumpy, but will start to even out fairly quickly.
Add a splash of milk before all the flour is gone, and continue to mix until all ingredients are combined – make sure there’s no flour lumps stuck to the side of the bowl. Now add most of the milk, and begin beating the batter (fairly quickly, beating down on the batter to force air into the mixture). The batter should be of a fairly watery consistency – but not too much so don’t add all of the milk until you’re happy with the batter. It may take a few times before you get it right. Pour the batter into a jug, and stick it in the fridge for about an hour – now it’s time to prep the hot part of the operation!
Add a bit of lard to each indent in a cupcake tray. If you can’t get lard, or would prefer not to use it, then sunflower oil works as well (don’t use olive oil, or another with a low smoke point). I’ve always found lard produces the best results –and a lump roughly the size of a sugar cube is ideal. The below picture shows you how much oil to pour in, if you choose to use that.
Preheat the oven to 230 C / Fan 210/ Gas 8. Place the cupcake tin on the middle shelf and allow to come to temperature with the oven.
At this point, the batter should have ‘rested’ in the fridge for nearly an hour, and should be removed and placed near the oven– the next bit has to happen fast (and safely). The oil is getting really, really hot! Once the oil starts to smoke a little bit, use the oven gloves to remove the tray from the oven (close it straight after to keep the heat in), place the tray on a safe surface.
Quickly pour the batter into each indent, about half way up. The fat should start to cook the batter and begin to bubble.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. It’s up to the oven and oil to do the heavy-lifting now. After a couple of minutes, you should start to see the edges of the Yorkies start to rise. After ten minutes they will all be rising very well – and it’s all uphill from here. By the twenty five minute mark, they should all be well-risen and golden brown. Once risen and golden brown, serve immediately.
25 minutes is the minimum cooking time - for a darker, crispier Yorkie... leave them in the oven a little bit longer.
The ingredients can be mixed in a food-processor, and used straight away (not refrigerated), but they may not rise....try both methods if you like!!