Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins


I have always been rather curious when it comes to the American tradition of pumpkin pie. Something that I have grown up knowing as a savoury food being treated as a dessert? Sounds odd to me.

It must work well because it's a feature on many American Thanks-giving menus. I can't say I have ever turned up to a dinner party where it has been served, but I know that pumpkin is no stranger to some sweet flavour. In fact one of the best ways to have pumpkin, is roasted with maple syrup.

These little spiced muffins are sort of like a stepping stone to pumpkin pie (I will work up to it one day). I was surprised at how beautiful these little muffins were. Not overly sweet with a nice subtle spice flavour. And the cream cheese frosting is definitely the icing on the cake (no pun intended!)


Makes: 12    Prep time: 15 minutes    Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup pecans - chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cup mashed pumpkin (500gm pumpkin chopped and cooked)
1 egg - lightly whisked
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil

Frosting:
150gm cream cheese - softened
75gm butter - softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups icing sugar

Method:
1. Pre heat oven to 180°C. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk the pumpkin, egg, buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and combine until all the flour is incorporated.

2. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and the butter until light and creamy. Add the vanilla essence. Gradually add the icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Use a butter knife to spread the frosting over the cooled cupcakes. Serve.

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