[On a small paper bit and muffins]


I don’t know about you, but in my book, nothing’s worse than Monday mornings. Wait. There is: autumn Monday mornings.
I mean, how would you expect me to be happy on a cold rainy morning, while we all know how I spent my weekend. It’s crazy how hard life is sometimes, isn’t it?

Luckily, Jamie Oliver came to my rescue with some spicy butternut squash muffins. The perfect comfort food.

But before we go further, please let me introduce the lucky boy who got picked for my goodie give-away.
It took me hours to come up with the right method (see how intense my life is): I first printed the comments, carefully cut them with my favourite pair of scissors, put them into a black bag, turned of the lights, mixed, mixed, mixed and picked up one paper band.


Graeme, unless you don’t want an extra Christmas present, you should send me your mail address…
I’m sort of scared now because I know your judgment will be blunt. Why did randomness decide I should pick you?

Anyway, today’s recipe is some great butternut squash muffins with a frosty top. When I spotted it in Jamie’s latest cookbook, I knew I had to try them.
What caught my attention wasn’t the prettier than pretty picture or the use of squash in muffins. It was the olive oil. I had been dying to try out some new cake recipes that rely on olive oil rather than butter.

Butternut squash muffins with a frosty top
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at home.

These muffins didn’t disappoint. I love how moist and fluffy they are. The cinnamon brings the needed heat and the olive oil adds a satisfying bitterness (I used very fruity organic olive oil from Nyons).

The icing is pungent and fragrant with citrus peels and juices. I think I added a little too much juice though, because mine was runny; but well, I’m always looking for an excuse to lick my fingers and this definitely was a good one ;)

Butternut squash muffins with a frosty top

makes 12 muffins

400g butternut squash, deseeded and roughly chopped
350g light soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
sea salt
300g plain flour, unsifted
2 tsp baking powder
a handful of walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175ml extra virgin olive oil

for the frosted cream topping
zest of 1 clementine
zest of 1 lemon and
juice of 1/2 a lemon
140ml soured cream
2 heaped tablespoons
icing sugar, sifted
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
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, walnuts, cinnamon and olive oil and whiz together until well beaten.
Fill the paper cases with the cake mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack.

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 vanilla seeds and mix well. Taste and 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. Sprinkle with the rest of the clementine zest sprinkled over.