Mandarin, Zucchini and White Chocolate Cupcakes

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“Baking is like washing–the results are equally temporary.”
~ Patricia Briggs, Raven’s Shadow

 

I experimented with a new cake recipe earlier in the week. But it was so good that it was devoured before I thought to take any photos.

So I made it again!

In fact, I tested two versions. A straight-up version using dairy, flour and sugar and a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free version.

Happily, both of them tasted delicious. The cakes are sweet and moist and rich-tasting, but not too heavy.

I did contemplate using a cream cheese icing with a hint of mandarin to finish these little cakes off, but honestly, unless the Queen was coming for afternoon tea it would have been complete overkill. That, and the fact that again, at least half the batch was eaten before I could get to the making icing part, after which any kind of frosting seemed redundant.

This recipe is inspired by the monster zucchini glut currently underway at our farm. Enjoy!

Ingredients – Standard:

2 medium mandarins (about 350 grams), 1 cup grated zucchini, 1 cup white chocolate chunks, 1 cup sugar, 1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour  (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/2 cup almond meal, 125g (1/2 cup) of melted butter, 3 large eggs – lightly beaten

Ingredients – Gluten-free, Dairy-free, sugar-free

2 medium mandarins (about 350 grams), 1 cup grated zucchini, 1 cup gluten-free white chocolate chunks (list of gluten-free chocolate here) OR omit chocolate OR substitute for your favourite nut OR dried apricots cut into fine dice, 1/2 cup of natvia or a sugar alternative, 1 and 1/2 cups of your favourite gluten-free self-raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/2 cup almond meal, 125g (1/2 cup) of melted dairy substitute, 3 large eggs – lightly beaten

Note: Keep a half cup of flour handy in case your mixture is too wet. Gluten-free flours all differ slightly so it’s a good idea to be prepared. 🙂

Method:

To prepare the mandarins, place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and then simmer one hour. Cool in pan.

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Slice open lengthways and remove seeds. You could use a spoon for this but I prefer clean fingers. That way you can feel any seeds that are hiding. Seeds make things bitter, so do your best to get them all. It’s an easy job. Pulse mandarins in a blender until smooth.

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Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Grate your zucchini to give a generous cup full. Squeeze it lightly to press a little moisture out of it.

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Then add the zucchini and mandarin pulp to a large bowl and stir well.

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Fold through the other ingredients. The chocolate on top was added by my husband who thought that the recipe could use another handful. This is not including the additional handful that went straight in his mouth…

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Spoon into cupcake liners in prepared tins.

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Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean. Cakes will rise nicely, but will settle again once cooled.

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Leave in tins to cool completely. Cake will store well for one week. It also freezes well.

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Serve to friends, with cups of tea. Or eat while snuggled up on the couch watching old movies. I trialled both methods, and both were satisfactory!

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2014-10-16 15.33.32Note Bert’s hopeful face, as he lies beneath the table waiting for a cupcake to fall on his head…

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10 thoughts on “Mandarin, Zucchini and White Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Mmmmmm yummy….just wondering though about the almond meal & a replacement due to nut allergy? I have a co-worker allergic to nuts & I would love to make these to take to work! Thanks Nicole.

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