I’ve been trying my hand at cooking…

Butternut Squash Muffins

Based on Jamie Oliver’s Butternut Squash Muffins with a Frosty Topping.  Jamie’s ingredients call for the use of Walnuts, however, as I volunteered to provide these really tasty cakes for a party at work, a number of colleagues stated they do not like Walnuts, so I had no choice to substitute them with an alternative.  I decided to try these with Hazelnuts.

I have taken some photographs of the result, and I have to say I am really happy with them.  They are certainly very tasty.



For the Muffins
400g butternut squash, skin on, deseeded and roughly chopped
350g light soft brown sugar
4 large free-range or organic eggs
sea salt
300g plain flour, unsifted
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
a handful of hazelnuts*
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
175ml extra virgin olive oil

For the Frosted Cream Topping
zest of 1 clementine
zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ a lemon
140ml soured cream
2 heaped tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*

*substituted ingredients from the original.

This set of ingredients has aloud me to make 12 mini-muffins and 12 large-muffins.


Based on Jamie Oliver’s Muffins sourced at: JamieOliver.com – however, substitute the walnuts for hazelnuts.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line your muffin tins with paper cases.

Whiz the squash in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the sugar, and crack in the eggs. Add a pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder, hazelnuts, cinnamon and olive oil and whiz together until well beaten. You may need to pause the machine at some point to scrape the mix down the sides with a rubber spatula. Try not to overdo it with the mixing – you want to just combine everything and no more.

Fill the paper cases with the cake mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes (approximately 15 minutes for the mini-muffins). Check to see whether they are cooked properly by sticking a wooden skewer or a knife right into one of the cakes – if it comes out clean, they’re done. If it’s a bit sticky, pop them back into the oven for a little longer. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack.

As soon as the muffins are in the oven, make your runny frosted topping. Place most of the clementine zest, all the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a bowl. Add the soured cream, icing sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Taste and have a think about it – adjust the amount of lemon juice or icing sugar to balance the sweet and sour. Put into the fridge until your cakes have cooled down, then spoon the topping on to the cakes.

Serve on a lovely plate (or on a cake stand if you’re feeling elegant, or on a rustic slab if you’re more of a hunter-gatherer type!), with the rest of the clementine zest sprinkled over.

Check them out, you will love them.

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