Saturday, 7 June 2014

Courgette Cupcakes with Strawberry and Macadamia Nut Cream

 It's now the British strawberry season! I love strawberries not only because they taste great and are full of vitamin C but because it marks the start of Summer - finally. I have been wanting to put these courgette cupcakes up on the blog for a while because they are light with a malty sweet flavour from the coconut sugar. I thought the combination of strawberry, courgette and macadamia nut would work well. The icing is fresh and sweet and actually reminds me a bit of angel delight that I used to have when I was kid, this version is a lot healthier though...


This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, they are best eaten fresh but they will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

Courgette cupcakes

2 eggs (free-range/organic)
1 cup coconut sugar (or 120g caster sugar)
2 large courgettes (peeled and very finely grated)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup white spelt flour (or plain flour)
1 cup ground almonds
2 tsps. baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180c and prepare a muffin tin with paper cases.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs until the light and fluffy, they need to be pale in colour and voluminous (this will probably take a good 5mins or so). When the eggs are nice and fluffy add the coconut sugar bit by bit while still whisking, followed by the courgettes and lemon zest.

Next add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Transfer the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 30mins.

While the cakes are in the oven you can make a start on the strawberry cream.

Strawberry and Macadamia Nut Cream 

1 cup of macadamia nuts (soaked over night)
1 cup of chopped strawberries (approx. 6 med/large strawberries)
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

In a blender or food processor whizz the strawberries, honey and lemon juice until liquidised. Next add the soaked macadamia nuts and whizz until you have a smooth pale pink mixture. Depending on the strength of your blender this could take a while but be patient and keep going, the smoother the texture the better it will taste. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until the cakes are completely cook and ready for icing.

Little Note:

The cup cakes don't rise an awful lot in the oven, they will remain flat on the top (which does make it easier for icing) but you probably will want to fill up your cases nearly to the top (a 1cm space fro the top of the case should be about the right).

If you can't get hold of macadamia nuts then cashew nuts would also work well. You may want to try this recipe too.

If you have a nut allergy you can replace the ground almonds in the cake mixture with just more flour and the macadamia nuts can be replaced with quark or cream cheese.

As with this banana bread it is really important to grate the courgette very finely (on the zest part of your grater) as this will make the cupcakes nice and light.

I also tried a batch in a small fairy cake tin, they were a little bit too small to be honest (and my husband was not impressed!) so I sandwiched two together with the strawberry cream (see picture below) and they worked really nicely. They kept well in the fridge and can be more easily transported for a work snack or a picnic. Not a complete disaster then...

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