Freddie of GreatBigVegChallenge has now moved on to Pumpkins. Here is last years Pumpkin Harvest from my mum's allotment in the boot of my car! The crop this year is rather sorry in comparison given all the flooding. These were used as invitations for our Halloween party, with a large paper green leaf and green raffia tied to each stalk containing the invitation and saying "Please carve me and bring me to the party". I have to confess that other than for decorating, I am not a huge fan of pumpkin (although I do love butternut squash - I think it is the sweetness that makes the difference) so Freddie has my sympathies this week. Perhaps this means I should be joining in with his challenge!! My offering is therefore a sweet one which masks the flavour of pumpkin completely (perhaps I am not playing by the rules here!) Hope you like them Freddie!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
Preparation time 30 minutes, plus baking and cooling
115g/4oz margarine or butter
115g/4oz self raising flour
2 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt
100g/3 ½ oz tinned pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground allspice
30g/1oz shelled pistachio nuts
60g/2oz cream cheese
300g/10 ½ oz icing sugar
70g/2 ½ oz softened butter
2 tbsp milk
Red, yellow and green food colouringsReady to roll icing to make the pumpkins
Cream the margarine and the sugar until light and fluffy and then add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the yogurt and pumpkin puree. Blitz the raisins and pistachios in a food processor until they are finely chopped and add to the cake mix with the flour and ground allspice, stirring gently. Place cupcake cases in a muffin tin and place a spoonful of the cake mixture in each case. Place a small spoon of cream cheese into each cake case and then cover with remaining cake batter. Bake in a moderate oven (Aga roasting oven below the cold shelf/190C/375F/Gas Mark 5) for approximately 20 minutes until the cakes spring back when you press the tops. Whilst the cakes are cooling, mix the icing sugar, softened butter, milk and a few drops of green food colouring to make the grass for the pumpkin patch cupcakes. Pipe grass using a grass nozzle, or if you do not have one, create the same effect using a fork. Make pumpkins by colouring ready to roll icing orange and green. Make small spheres of the orange icing and flatten at the top and bottom with your fingers. Using a sharp knife make cuts around the side to form indents in the pumpkin. Make leaves to decorate the top and place one pumpkin on each cupcake.