12 August 2012

* Butternut Squash Muffins

Butternut Squash and Walnut Muffins RecipeThese are a favourite in our house. I've always got a butternut squash or three, lying around. It's incredibly more-ish fair in any guise, and makes a change from carrot in cakes and bakes.

I've tried various toppings, with varying degrees of success. Soured cream icing was nice in theory but in practice it was more like dipping sauce... of course, I still put it on top of the muffins, regardless of it's lack of sticking power.

I eventually settled on a simple lemon cream cheese frosting, that has a certain *nominess* when you sink your teeth in for the first bite.

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Butternut Squash Muffins Recipe

Makes 12 - 18

Prep and cooking time - 40 minutes (without time for cooling and frosting)

400g butternut squash - peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
350g light soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
300g plain flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
Large handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
175ml sunflower oil

Whiz the squash through a foodprocesser to chop it up finely (I used my magimix and the chopping blade) - tip the squash into the bowl (use your mixer bowl if you have one - I used my KenwoodChef and the paddle blade), add the eggs and sugar and mix/whisk together, add all remaining ingredients and beat until just combined.

Spoon into 12 - 18 (depending on size of muffin case) muffin cases and fill each case 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake in a preheated oven 180c/350f/gas 4 (160c for fan oven) for 20 - 25 minutes (15 - 20 mins for fan oven).

Turn the muffin tray about half way through cooking to help with even cooking. Don't bang the oven door shut, do it gently!

When cooked, turn out immediately onto a cooling rack - or they go a bit tough and dry inside. Alow to cool before icing.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter at room temp
125g cream cheese ( I use Philadelphia ) - cold
tiny squeeze of lemon juice (preferably from a lemon)

Beat the butter and icing sugar together, it should form a bread crumb texture.. add a splash of lemon juice then the cream cheese and beat well until throughly mixed together. If it's a little bit runny, put it in the fridge to harden slightly, or add a tad more icing sugar.
Ice your muffins however you choose (pipe it or spread it).
Put muffins in fridge for maybe 20 mins to harden the icing a little - then serve whenever you want.

It's a LOT of icing, so if you want just a taste of sweetness, halve the frosting recipe.

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