I have seen and heard of zucchini cupcakes, but never tried one. Whats the catch here? Veggies IN A CUPCAKE? Why? WHYYYY? Whats the hype about? I needed to give it a try for myself. Rather than wing this one, I looked around the interwebs for a good base, and when I am looking for a recipe that is tried and tested, I always turn to my gurl, Martha.
I added some additional spices, and made some substitutions and loved what the outcome was. The almond extract added a bit of depth to the flavor, in addition to the cloves, ginger and nutmeg. I did leave out the nuts, but thats was only because we recently made a nut cupcake and I had enough.
In other news, I have a new lens for my camera! I had been working with the lens my kit came with. I have a Canon T1i, with a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, but it was time for an upgrade. I've been shooting with it for far too long, but couldn't make a decision on what to buy! Luckily, I have some wonderful friends... and mah boy Vince "lent" me one. I am now feeling proper (and a little pimp actually) as I shoot with this beaut. I am still getting used to it, but am excited to see the quality of my images improve. ALSOOOOOOO I tend to only bake during peak day light, which I will continue to do but, this lens should allow me to shoot in less then ideal lighting situations, so maybe I can start midnight baking (sorry roommates, love you!).
Yields 12 Cupcakes in Standard liners
RECIPE BELOW, GET BAKING!
FOR THE BATTER /
1 ½ cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cup coarsely grated zucchini (Chopping the zucchini in a food processor will get a great consistency)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
½ tsp. almond extract
1 / Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake pan with liners.
2 / In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Whisk well to make sure completely incorporated with each other.
3 / In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, oil, eggs and almond extract.
4 / Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat on medium until just combined.
5 / Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cupcake tray, filling each cavity ⅔ the way.
6 / Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Marthas recipe said to bake for 40 minutes, so that's what I set my timer for, but I just had this GUT FEELING that they were done at around 18 minutes. OMGEEEE am I glad I checked. They were perfect, maybe could have used a minute less actually. Keep an eye on them while the are baking, but DO NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES open you oven up too much. When you open an oven while cupcakes are baking, you release the heat, and can cause disastrous results, like the cupcakes just completely collapsing. Wait until AT LEAST 15 minutes to check these, but if you can, just switch the oven light on and take a peek (without opening the oven) until you are pretty sure they have finished rising.
FOR THE GLAZE /
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
2 tsp. almond extract (vanilla extract pictured above, which will also work, but I made a game time decision and went with teh almond instead)
1-4 tbsp. milk
1 / In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes.
2 / Pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.
3 / Add sugar, vanilla, and 1 tbsp. milk and stir until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes and then spread or our over cupcakes.
If the consistency of the icing is too thick to spread, add the remaining milk, 1 tbsp. at a time until the icing is spreadable.
So the discovery about zucchini cupcakes you ask? They are moist and amazing. They DO NOT taste like zucchini, but are a beautiful base for other spices and flavors. I actually think it would be really interesting to add some citrus flavors, or even make a chocolate one. The juice of the grated zucchini must be the trick!
They baked to a beautiful burnt orange color. I slathered them pretty good in the brown butter glaze, which is super sweet and perfection.
OH ONE LAST THING I WANTED TO SHARE. LIsten up, baking is messy. Blogging is messy, its not all fun and games ya know, it's dishes and running to the store because you forgot to grab an ingredient and messes and more messes, but I love (almost) every second of it. Don't get discouraged that all the bloggers out there have beautiful pictures and beautiful lives, we also have this, we are human you know!
What does your kitchen look like when you get cooking (please tell me its not immaculate...)?