Sunday, 26 September 2010

Butternut squash and white chocolate cupcakes

These are all fur coat and no knickers; the Jayne Mansfield of cupcakes.

Despite containing a hefty portion of wholesome butternut squash, they also squeeze in more butter, cream and white chocolate than is strictly decent. So better to shut the door and close the curtains unless you want the Jones's knowing what you get up to at the weekend...

Makes a dozen

225g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground allspice
50g chopped white chocolate
50g chopped walnuts
200g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
120ml sunflower or vegetable oil
200g grated butternut squash

~for the cream cheese topping
300ml double cream
4 tbsp cream cheese
65g room temperature butter
4 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

1) Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and spices, and add the white chocolate and walnuts.  In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, then pour over the dry ingredients and carefully fold in.  When just combined, fold in the grated squash then spoon the mixture into cupcake moulds lined with paper cases.

2) Bake at 350f/180c/gas mark 4 for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

3) To make the topping: Whisk the butter until smooth, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese.  Add the double cream, and whisk until thick but not dry.  When the cakes have completely cooled, either pipe on the cream or use a knife to spread over each one.  Top with a few chopped walnuts, some white chocolate shards or a little cocoa powder.


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