As I prepared to make these cupcakes. My love pulled up a chair to help. He climbed up and he said,"okay, we need 1 cup of flour and some budher (translation, he meant butter), right mommy?" I was speechless. All I could do was giggle and give him a kiss and a huge bear hug and tell him,"that's right sweetie, you're quite the sous chef!" Then he said,"fous chef? what's fous chef mommy?" I'll leave it at that.
So, I had this butternut squash for some time now. It was looking at me and begging to be used in some way. And I wanted to use it in a way that I've never used before. First, I thought butternut squash gnocchi, because I came across a recipe in one of my magazines. Then I realized you needed a potato ricer. I was like, what's a potato ricer? That idea went out the window. Then I thought why not a sweet treat. Then DING. Cupcakes came to mind. Thanks Martha Stewart!
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com
1 Large Butternut Squash (about 1-2/3 cups to 2 cups)
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Granulated Sugar (you can add more for a sweeter cupcake)
1 Cup Softened Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Spice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Cups Flour
1. Preheat oven to 400º degrees. Wash, dry and cut the squash in half length wise and remove seeds and place on a baking sheet. Brush on some extra virgin olive oil. Bake for about an hour. Check to see if the squash is done by piercing it with a fork.
2. Scoop the squash out, allow to cool and puree in your food processor. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda & powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pumpkin spice and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and butter. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the butternut squash puree.
5. Prepare your muffin pan and add the batter a little over halfway. I made 12 cupcakes, you can make more. Bake at 350º for 18 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center and check to see if it comes out clean. I also made two mini cakes in 5 inch pans. I baked the cupcakes and cakes together. When the cupcakes were done I left the cakes to continue baking for an additional 10 minutes for a total of 28 minutes. Do the toothpick test just in case.
Frosting for Cupcakes
Mascarpone Frosting by Martha Stewart, Makes 2 Cups just enough for 12 cupcakes.
1 Cup Heavy Cream
8 Oz Mascarpone Cheese, Room Temperature
1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar, Sifted
1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to over beat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together the mascarpone cheese and sifted confectioner sugars until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately and decorate cupcakes to you liking.
These moist, and flavorful cupcakes were so delicious! Cupcakes with loads of fiber. Thats a good thing.
Then came the mini cake. I wanted to use a dark chocolate frosting for these babies. Because I LOVE dark chocolate. I don't use anything else. Usually.
Frosting for the Mini Cake
Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Egg Whites (about 3 eggs)
1-1/4 Stick Unsalted Butter. Cut into small pieces
8 Ounces Dark Chocolate, Melted and cooled slightly
1. Place sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is heated and sugar is dissolved. Attach bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and continue whisking until cooled and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
2. With the mixer running, add butter, one piece at a time, until completely incorporated. Continue whisking until a light, fluffy cream has formed. Stir in chocolate until well combined.