Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today's Selfish Wishes, and Some Super Squashcakes!

I found this gem over at The Daily Olive. What a gorgeous item, a double-wall oven is something I've always wanted! Okay... this TurboChef oven is something I would gladly shell out for. It is a great tool, not just a regular oven - the top compartment can cook food up to 15x faster than a regular oven, and the bottom compartment is both a traditional and convection unit! What more could an aspiring pastry chef like me ask for? Well, I think it's a bit too pricey (currently going for $7,495.00; not to mention it's awkward to wrap) to ask for for Christmas though :(. Guess I'll have to wait until I'm a rich and famous pastry chef before I can take this baby home. Then again, by the time that happens, we'll be popping meal pills and living on Mars in bubble homes! Ah well, a girl can dream, right?

Well, the rest of this entry is the result of some more kitchen play by yours truly. You've heard of the Jenni Ferrari-Adler book Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant? Well, I was alone in the kitchen with a pumpkin, an imagination, and entirely too much time on my hands! The excellent result was a batch of light (both in calories and in texture), flavourful mini muffins (with two responsible grown-up muffins, of course) that I am whisking away with me to MLCP this week for their little Hallowe'en party. The buckwheat adds a nice nutty touch as well, and sets off the dark chocolate chips nicely. Dark chocolate chips are important in this recipe because milk chocolate is a bit too, well, milky for these cakes. These are great for freezing too, so you can pop one in your lunch (or your kid's, if you have the itty-bitties!) and it's rarin' to go by noon.

Super Squashcakes
Makes 12
½ cup flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tbsp cold water
1 cup mashed pumpkin
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup apple juice (I used cider, because hey, it's fall!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup mini dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cloves.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and cold water.
  4. Add pumpkin, applesauce, apple juice, and vanilla; blend until smooth.
  5. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to make a smooth batter.
  6. Stir the chips into the batter. Batter will be thick.
  7. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
Like I said before, these are pretty sound nutritionally as far as muffins go. One regular-sized muffin only sets you back about 145 calories, 2 1/2 grams of fat, and 28 grams of carbs. In return, one of these will give you about 2 1/2 grams of fibre, 8% of your RDA of iron and 64% of your RDA for Vitamin A. Also, five of the ingredients (buckwheat, whole wheat, cloves, apples and winter squash; I'm not counting water though perhaps I should!) are on the World's Healthiest Foods List.

That being said, they taste great, so even if you aren't health-conscious they're a great snacktime addition to the menu. Happy baking!