Friday, 3 August 2007

Tamsin’s Courgette Muffins

These lovely muffins came first in the Baking Brilliance Category.

Tamsin says "These are so moist and easy to make that you can’t go wrong!"

60g raisins (optional)
250g courgette (2-3) weigh them before grating
2 eggs
125ml / 4fl oz vegetable oil
150g caster sugar (I use golden)
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda

Small (250g) pot mascarpone cheese
125g icing sugar
Juice of 1-2 lemons or limes (to taste, depends how juicy they are)

Deep “American” muffin tins
Greaseproof paper

Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180C)

First prepare your tins by cutting some greaseproof paper into squares approx 15x15cm. Size really depends on the size of your muffin tin; it works best if the paper is roughly 4 times the diameter of each hole. Lay aside until needed a bit later.

Put the raisins into a small bowl and pour over enough just boiled water to cover them. Leave to plump up whilst you get on with the rest of the cake.

Grate the courgettes (don’t peel them, the skin gives a fantastic colour once baked) Its best to do this by hand using the rough setting on a normal box grater rather than a food processor (mushy results), then pop them into a colander and allow to stand in order for excess water to drain off.

Weigh out the flour. Spoon in the baking powder and bicarb and stir to evenly distribute.

Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy (I prefer to mix by hand but sometimes do this bit with an electric whisk). Spoon in the flour and mix until combined. Then stir in the grated courgettes and drained raisins (best to do this delicate stage by hand)

Now for the only tricky part, but don’t worry if it gets a bit messy, they’ll come looking fantastically homemade. Shove a greaseproof square into a muffin tin hole by pressing the centre of the paper. Press down to form a basic muffin paper case. The paper will buckle up around the top (I like the rustic look!) Spoon a generous dessertspoon-full into each case. Bake for 20-30 mins until golden brown, firm to the touch and smelling yummy. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire tray.

For the icing:
Beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar until smooth. Add lemon juice to taste. Spoon the icing over the muffins once cooled.

This recipe also works really well as a layer cake. Use 2 x 21cm sandwich tins and spread the icing in between layers and on top


laundryetc said...

I've just made the muffins and all the while, as I was making them, I was thinking 'why'. It reminded me of those branded cookery booklets, like cooking with Hellmans Mayonnaise. All well and good you can replace the fats in you recipes with mayo but why bother.
Anyhow, I've lots of courgettes to spare and none of the neighbours will eat them, so my challenge is hide them in dishes that thet will love to eat, so's they don't notice.
Well, the muffins are utterly lovely. I put lime zest and juice into the icing so the greenyness followed through. This is a fabulous recipe. Shame it doesn't use enough courgette to make an impact on the mountain.

Satyris420 said...

I made these to this recipe and also by way of inspiration of Flora's famous courgette cake out of Nigella Lawson's book (can't remember which; godess or feast) and I must say all results were absolutely smashing.

The original courgette cake recipe calls for a filling of lime curd and a topping of cream cheese and icing sugar. I've always loved lime curd with anything and so applied that to the muffins I made, cutting little cones out of the top (eating them as I went along) with a sharp knife and spooning a dollop of curd in (a tea spoon is ideal so as not to over power the gentle flavour and texture of the muffin).

I was never satisfied with the regular cream cheese topping as i find it too sour and salty, marscepone, I am glad to say is absolutely perfect. It has all the rich and creamy texture without the negative flavour aspects that the cream cheese lent to the topping. To the marscepone and icing sugar I added the seeds of one vanilla pod for presentation purposes and for the gentle flavour the vanilla imparts and I stuck the depleted vanilla pod in the icing sugar to flavour it for next time!

The icing was applied to the muffind with a piping bag for presentation to great effect which didnt take too long, I did them the morning I took them to work for my birthday; this also allowed the icing time in the fridge to set a little after creaming in the sugar (if you do this, place clingfilm directly onto the cheese in the bowl to stop it forming a skin).

Well worth the love and attention I paid these muffins at half 8 on a monday morning, they look like little clouds of absolute perfection and I can scarce find words more apt to descibe their flavour!

Dulwich Dad said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Dulwich Dad!

Anonymous said...

My husbands hates courgettes! This recipe has converted him. Its another way of getting greens into the children (and grown ups!). We made lemon butter icing as the topping, fantastic. Ten out of ten from all the family. It has now gone into the family recipe book.

The Lewis family