200 g butternut squash, (neck-end only)
175 g soft light brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs
175 g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
35 g walnuts
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
90 ml extra virgin olive oil
For the zingy topping
zest of ½ a clementine
zest of ½ a lemon
70 ml soured cream
2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
You might think I'm mad using butternut squash to make muffins, but it's really just like using carrots, as the two vegetables are very similar. The skin of a butternut squash goes deliciously chewy and soft when cooked, so there's no need to peel it off. Give these a go – they're a perfect naughty-but-nice treat.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
2. On a chopping board, carefully cut the neck-end off the squash (save the rest for another day), trim away the stalk, then cut into rough chunks (there's no need to peel it).
3. Place the squash in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped.
4. Add the sugar and crack in the eggs.
5. Add a tiny pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon and extra virgin olive oil, then whiz again until just combined – you may need to stop the processor after a couple of seconds and scrape the mix down from the sides with a spatula to help it mix evenly. Try not to overdo it with the mixing – you want to just combine everything and no more.
6. Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
7. Use tablespoons to fill the paper cases three-quarters of the way up with mixture.
8. Bake in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, risen and cooked through.
9. To check if they're done, stick a cocktail stick or skewer into the middle, remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean they're cooked; if it's slightly wet cook for a little longer.
10. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tray, then carefully place them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile…
11. Use a microplane to finely grate the clementine and lemon zest onto a board, then add most of it to a mixing bowl, keeping a little bit to one side.
12. Add the soured cream to the bowl, sift in the icing sugar and mix well.
13. Put the icing into the fridge until your cakes have cooled completely.
14. Once cool, spoon the icing onto the cakes then scatter with the remaining clementine and lemon zest, then tuck in.
Tip: Make sure you allow the cakes to cool completely before adding the icing – if you don't, it'll get too runny and won't look very good! If you feel like making these slightly less indulgent, they're delicious without the icing too.
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Give these a go – you might think I’m mad using butternut squash to make muffins, but it’s really just like using carrots for carrot cake.
1h 30m (plus cooling)
Not too tricky
BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH
Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.
When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.
For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:
Marine Stewardship Council